Skip to main content

Full text of "The independent"

See other formats


THE 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 



JANUARY 'FEBRUARY 1983 



$150 



INDEPENDENT 



On the Frontlines 

At the WGBH Doc Unit 

• 

Festivals Galore: Cannes, 

Houston, Atlanta, Athens & More 



>■ 






mi •' 



Ethnographic Film 
Has Change of Face 




As a professional, you will want to see one of the most advanced editing suites in the business. . . even if you 
don't need an editing facility at the moment. It features state-of-the-art technology engineered intoa room 
that is remarkably functional. Designed "in the round," this unique editing concept puts everything at the 
clients' fingertips. 



The Du Art Editing Suite includes: 

• BVH 1100A 1" Type C VTR's with slow-stop motion 

• CMX 340X with Gismo and M J 

• Grass Valley Switcher with E-Mem 

• Audio tape recorder and console 

• Title camera and character generator 



Also available at your option are: 

• Quantel digital effects • Noise reduction 

• Time coding • Audio sweetening 

• Time base correction • Frame storage 



Du Art has been widely recognized and respected for pioneering advancements in film, sound and video 
post-production services. Our new editing facility continues the 60 year Du Art tradition of excellence, 
advanced technology, and highly skilled and creative craftsmen. The complete Du Art Building is dedi- 
cated to video/film/ sound. ..all under one roof. ..one management. No hassles dealing with different 
suppliers. No precious time wasted in delayed messenger deliveries. We have it all. ..and you can pick and 
choose only the services you want. You'll find our people superior technicians and committed to helping 
you do your job better and faster... all at very competitive rates. 

For a "no obligation" visit or for more information, please call. We'll be happy to answer any questions 
you might have. 



DUART 



VIDEO 



DU ART DOES IT BETTER 



DU ARTfSTm 



245 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3681/ 39 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02160 (617) 969-0666 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

JANUARY /FEBRUARY 1983 • Vol. 6, No 1 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Hulser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 

Contributing Editors: John Greyson, 

Mary Guzzy, David Leitner, Wendy 

Lidell, Susan Linfield 

Contributors: Eric Breitbart, Jace 
Dawson, Lulu Lopez, Kitty Morgan, 
Robert Richter, Amanda M. Ross, 
Barry Rossnick 

Art Director: John Greyson 

Art Assistant: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typesetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Expedi 

The Independent is published 10 times yearly 
by the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th 
Floor, New York NY 10012, a non-profit, 
tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated 
to the promotion of independent video and 
film, and by the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the 
national trade association of independent 
producers and individuals involved in 
independent video and film. Subscription is 
included with membership in AIVF. To- 
gether, FIVF and AIVF provide a broad 
range of educational and professional 
services for independents and the general 
public. Publication of the The Independent is 
made possible in part with public funds from 
the New York State Council on the Arts and 
the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fed- 
eral agency. 

Articles in The Independent are con- 
tributed by our members and supporters. If 
you have an idea for, or wish to contribute, 
an article to The Independent, contact the 
Editor at the above address. 

All contents are copyright of the authors 
and The Independent, except where otherwise 
noted, and reprints require written permis- 
sion from both. ISSN 0731-5198. 
©FIVF 1983 
• 

AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence 
Sapadin, Executive Director; Wendy Lidell, Assis- 
tant Director; John Greyson, Media Coordinator; 
Sol Horwitz, Short Film Showcase Project Ad- 
ministrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film Showcase 
Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Piatt, 
Membership Coordinator; Mary Guzzy, Ad- 
ministrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Robert 
Richter, President; William Greaves, Vice President; 
Lillian Jimenez, Chair; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt 
Clarke, Treasurer; Lawrence Sapadin (ex-offwio); 
Daniel Edelman; Pablo Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; 
Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; Richard Schmiechen; 
Thomas Turley. 

A Publication of 

The Foundation for 
Independent Video & Film 

A 

The Association of 
Independent Video & 
Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 



Features 

A World of Their Own 

WGBH's "Frontline" Operates Behind Closed Doors • Susan Linfield 

Exploring New Terrain at Margaret Mead Fest 

Intrepid Ethnofilmers Focus on Us, as Well as Them • Frances M. Piatt 



10 



13 



Columns 



Media Clips 9PTV Consortia Plays Monopoly 4 

Also, Communications Conference* John Greyson & Eric Breitbart 

In Focus • Kodak Steals the Show 7 

Emulsions, Time Codes & Gadgets at SMPTE Convention • David Leitner 

AIVF Forum • Buyer Shortage Looms 1 5 

HBO Backing Away from Longer Shorts • Kitty Morgan 

Festivals • Houston: A Movable Feast 18 

Also: Atlanta, Athens, Melbourne, CINE • Lulu Lopez 

Notices 26 

Edited by Mary Guzzy 

COVER: Mike Angalik (in headphones) and John Allutjut (with video camera) on location in Eskimo Point in Canada. 
Their struggles to build an autonomous TV network serving Inuit concerns are documented in Peter Raymont's re- 
cent 'Magic in the Sky, ' which played at this year's Margaret Mead Festival. For a full report on this anthropological 
showcase, see page 13. Photo courtesy Investigative Productions. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



Finalist Finale 

Dear Independent: 

You'll be amused to hear that many people 
have not noticed the "April 1" date on the 
NY Times layout you so cleverly set in my 
piece, Weary Finalist Curses Funders. I'm be- 
ing asked all the time about how I "smashed 
and burned at CPB." Anyway, it's the 
thought that counts, eh? Eloise [Payne] at 
CPB "loved it," and asked me to read for 
Life, Death and Other Matters 
(masochistic?). Anyway, I obviously need the 
money. — Will Roberts 



Now Hear This 

Dear Independent: 

Thanks for the coverage of the Chicago 
Community Cable Cooperative in October's 
Media Clips. We went for a joint venture 
with a 100% minority-owned, Chicago-based 
company — Satellite Cable Communica- 
tions — and made a bid on the Chicago fran- 
chise. Michael Jarard, head of Satellite, has 
delegated a local origination channel — South 
by Southwest — to the Co-op, along with all 
local origination and access management. 
There are plans for five studios: one will be 
up and running within the first year. The Co- 
op will work with the city's organization, the 



Chicago Access Corporation. There will be 
77 positions all told for local origination and 
access. We plan to generate top-rate pro- 
gramming, and to market directly to 
whomever or whatever is buying programm- 
ing. We have broadcast-quality 3 A " equip- 
ment and a bare-bones 16mm film setup. 

We are still accepting memberships at $20 
for individuals and $45 for organizations. 
After the franchise award, we are either 
down the tubes or into production. If we get 
the franchise, individual memberships will in- 
crease to $100; the post-franchise organiza- 
tion rate has not yet been set. We do accept 
out-of-town memberships, which will have 
all member privileges with the exception of 
requests for portable coverage and voting. 
Out-of-town members will be able to 
negotiate equipment usage, postproduction 
and marketing services. 

The Co-op intends to make Chicago Area 
4 (one of the franchise areas) a showcase of 
local origination and access production and 
training. The primary operating funds cur- 
rently come from membership contributions, 
however, so there isn't a lot of money yet. 
Continued on page 12 

The Independent welcomes letters to the 
editors. Send them to FIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York NY 1 001 2. Letters may be edited 
for length and clarity. 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 






MEDIA CLIPS 



PTV Consortia 
Play Monopoly 



JOHN GREYSON 

Almost a year ago, the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting's Board of Directors re- 
jected a proposal to restructure its Program 
Fund to reroute Fund grants to outside 'en- 
tities.' These entities, which bore a clear re- 
semblance to station consortia, were seen by 
independents to undermine the Fund's Con- 
gressional mandate to support independent 
/minority-produced programs through direct 
funding, and the proposal's defeat was view- 
ed as a victory for the independent communi- 
ty. 

Today, that victory seems pyrrhic — at the 
CPB's November 3 Board Meeting, Program 
Fund director Ron Hull presented a report on 
no less than four station consortia currently 
in operation, which control $10.3 million ot 
the Fund's fiscal '82 budget— almost half of 
the total production monies available. 

Hull's report met with concerted criticism 



from the Board. Member Jose Rivera pre- 
faced his remarks by commenting that the 
three latest consortia — children's/family, 
documentary and arts — were launched 
before the CPB Board had come to grips with 
consortia policy. He then proceeded to cri- 
tique the four, noting that none used peer 
review panels to select programs, and only 
the Children's/Family consortium sent out a 
request for proposals to the Fund's extensive 
national mailing list of producers. The sta- 
tions involved in the consortia, according to 
the report, must represent and show a com- 
mitment to the country's various regions. 
However, all four 'flagship' or administrative 
stations are in the Northeast (see box). 
WNET, besides heading Arts & Playhouse, is 
also a consortium member of WGBH's 
Frontline; WGBH reciprocates by con- 
tributing to Playhouse: South Carolina's 



Who's Who In the Consortia Cornucopia 

Each consortium consists of five (excepting Playhouse with four) member stations, led by a 
'flagship' station which supervises administration and production to a greater or lesser 
degree. CPB appoints the stations based on past performance in each particular area, 
according to Marc Pollack, project development associate for WQED's Children's/Family 
series. He assumes this station was chosen because they brought the world Mr. Rogers. 



• American Playhouse 

Lindsay Law, executive producer 

WNET-TV 

356 West 58 St. 

New York NY 10019 

(212) 560-2000 

Series of station-produced or acquired prime- 
time dramas. Started January, 1982. 27% 
indie, 22% minority participation (approximate 
figures based on Program Fund report on the 
first and second season) 

• Frontline 

David Fanning, executive producer 

WGBH-TV 

125 Western Ave. 

Boston MA 02134 

(617)492-2777 

Weekly documentary series, starts in January, 
1983. Read Linfield's article in this issue and 
keep in mind the varying definitions of 
'independents' as you consider these other 
three 

• Children's/Family 

Lee Polk, executive producer 
WOED-TV 



4802 Fifth Ave. 
Pittsburgh PA 15213 
(412)622-1300 

26-part drama-based series for "the post- 
Sesame Streeet generation, " to start up in 
January, 1984. Call for proposals this fall 
elicited 194, including 171 from indies and 30 
from minority producers. WQED's Marc Pol- 
lack reports that the majority were straight 
narrative projects with a few docu-dramas. 

Arte Alliance 

Jac Venza, executive producer 

Great Performances 

WNET-TV 

356 West 58 St. 

New York NY 10019 

(212) 560-2000 

Formed to "broaden the scope of the Great 
Performances series" through increased 
domestic production and more input from PBS 

All four consortia are currently accepting 
proposals for review by the executive 
producers, staff and the various advisory 
boards (whose function is purely advisory, and 
certainly not a peer panel) 



large SCETV is a member of three, excluding 
Frontline, and KCET of Los Angeles is 
working on both Children's /Family and 
Playhouse. Another Board member, 
Kathleen Nolan, similarly questioned the 
make-up of Frontline's Advisory Board, 
which mainly consists of white men 
from Massachusetts. Regional accountabil- 
ity seems to have been sacrificed in favor of 
cronyism among these national producers of 
public fare. 

From a fundraising point of view, the ad- 
vantages of consortia seem indisputable. The 
public system's largest stations, grouped in 
power blocs to produce new national pro- 
gramming, should represent a blue-chip in- 
vestment for the private sector — certainly 
much more attractive than either individual 
stations or Program Fund series such as Life 
& Death & Other Matters. Yet according to 
Hull's budgets for the first two seasons of 
Frontline and Playhouse, private sector 
sponsorship seems to account for less than 
8% of the totals. The rest is made up of CPB 
grants, plus funds from the NEA and the Sta- 
tion Program Cooperative (although station 
dollars do include corporate donations and 
member subscriptions). 

Diana Dougan summed up the Board's 
concern when she asked if the CPB was mov- 
ing from the role of catalyst to one of 
maintenance, in regard to production. For 
the independents the issues are more clear 
cut — faced with a choice between working 
with consortia vs. being funded directly, 
there is no competition. AIVFs executive 
director Lawrence Sapadin sent a six-point 
critique of the consortia to CPB Chair 
Sharon Rockefeller, arguing that the consor- 
tia's failure to comply with established Pro- 
gram Fund procedures resulted in funding in- 
formation becoming "privileged informa- 
tion" for "those in the know," reduced diver- 
sity of PTV programming and created "mini- 
bureaucracies." Freelancing for a consortium 
is fundamentally different from producing 
independent film and video for the PTV 
system. AIVF concluded with the recommen- 
dation that CPB grants to consortia should 
not exceed 20% of the total Fund budget. 
The direct funding that independents need 
must be strengthened. For instance, four out of 
five projects recently selected for funding at 
the Program fund from a batch of 244 un- 
solicited proposals are independent, in- 
cluding Robert Drew, Robert Evans and 
Michelle Parkerson — selected with the sort of 
due process and access that safeguards the in- 
terests of those producers. 

Independents committed to strengthening 
funding for indies not weakening it through 
consortia "maintenance," should write to the 
CPB, stressing that: 

• Program funding opportunities must be 
publicized through RFPs; 

• Proposals must be evaluated by peer panels; 

• Independents must retain artistic and 
editorial control over their own work. 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Send copies of your correspondence to: 
CPB President Edward J. Pfister, Board 
Chair Sharon P. Rockefeller and Program 
Director Ron Hull, at CPB, 1111 Sixteenth 
St., NW, Washington DC 20036. 



Wired for Democracy: 
UDC Meets in Philadelphia 

On November 12-24, over 150 communica- 
tions researchers, film and video producers 
and computer activists came to Philadelphia 
for the Union for Democratic Communica- 
tions' first Critical Communications Con- 
ference. 

Noreen Janus of the Instituto 
Latinoamericano de Estudios Transna- 
cionales (ILET) in Mexico City opened the 
conference with a workshop which sum- 
marized current research trends in the field of 
international communications. These includ- 
ed: the privatization of commercial systems; 
the new international division of labor; the 
transnationalism of Third World economies; 
the ways in which information systems are 
used to maintain social control; and transna- 
tional culture. An early evening session heard 
general opening comments by telecom- 
munications activist and researcher Tim 
Haight of Madison, Wisconsin, and former 
AIVF president Dee Dee Halleck on the prac- 
tice of alternative video production and 
distribution and communications research. 
Their joint presence illustrated the two basic 
elements of the UDC: communications re- 
search and communications practice. 

Saturday offered a full day of workshops, 
films and tapes, and the chance to browse 
through a small exhibit area displaying snap- 
py black and orange UDC tee shirts, com- 
munications books from Ablex Publishers, 
flyers from various media organizations (in- 
cluding AIVF), communications research 
papers, issues of Cultural Correspondence 
(featuring a report from last April's First 
Radical Humor Festival) and FUSE Magazine 
(Canada's interdisciplinary radical culture 
publication). The Labor and Media 
workshop, coordinated by Temple University 
media professor Vinny Mosco (author of 
Pushbutton Fantasies, a new book on infor- 
mation technologies), covered the use of 
mass media in labor organizing campaigns, 
the relation of media workers to media 
unions, and Third World workers in the 
telematics industry. Popular Culture and 
Ideology, coordinated by Jim Miller, examin- 
ed the ideology of popular culture through 
Hollywood films and novels about Africa. 
Pirate TV and Radio was conducted by a 
longtime East Coast practitioner who, for 
obvious reasons, prefers to remain 
anonymous. Alternative Media Production 
and Distribution, coordinated by Dee Dee 
Halleck, covered a wide range of topics of in- 
terest to AIVF members: public access and 
cable, community broadcasting, pirate radio 
(maybe even television) and the production 
and distribution of alternative news. 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1933 



After a spirited lunch in International 
House's Eden Cafeteria (famed home of the 
vegetarian Edenburger), the afternoon con- 
tinued with workshops on Information and 
Communications Policy, Media Education, 
Alternative Uses of Computing, Alter- 
native/Critical Media Use in the Third 
World, the Structure of Media Information 
Industries and Building Democratic Com- 
munications. As a filmmaker of the old (non- 
electronic) school, this correspondent tends 
to look on computers with a combination of 
awe and disdain. One of the most exciting 
elements in the conference was the possibility 
of discussing computers and telematics with 
film and video producers in a general com- 
munications context. 

It may be just my personal observation, 
but film and video producers often seem 
quite limited and parochial in their outlook 
on the world, believing (as we'd like to) that 
everything revolves around film and video — a 
sort of pre-Copernican communications 
theory. The value to AIVF members of an 
organization like UDC, which has only been 
in existence for about a year and a half, is 
twofold: 

• First, it can provide a theoretical and 
social context for our work. Issues like public 
access, alternative information sources and 
programming are not just practical ques- 
tions. They take place within specific 
historical and political conditions, and are 
being examined by a number of people doing 
informative and relevant work in com- 
munications theory. In addition, good theory 
has a grounding in practice, and theoreticians 
don't always have access to people who are 
producing and distributing films and tapes. 
This division surfaced on Saturday when 
such practical community activitists as Media 
Network members criticized what they 
perceived as UDC's academic bias towards 
research critiquing mainstream communica- 
tions, as opposed to research on alternative 
community-based media. The academic com- 
ponent of the conference seemed responsive 
to these comments. 

• Second, we are in the middle of what can 
be called an "information revolution." In- 
creasingly, films and tapes are being seen as 
part of a more general communications 
framework, including teletext and other data 
transmission. By bringing together people 
from various telecommunications disciplines, 
the UDC provides a format for discussion of 
film and video production as part of a larger 
scheme, which extends beyond the bounda- 
ries of the US. 

While I would not suggest that all AIVF 
members rush off to join UDC, their work is 
important and worthy of ongoing coverage in 
The Independent. And this conference was a 
change from the 1981 founding meeting of 
UDC, which was composed of theorists and 
did not encompass a broad spectrum of 
media activists. Those interested in more in- 
formation on the UDC may contact Karen 




23 



Years of Award 
Winning Films 



• Complete Animation Services 

• Special Effects 

• Title Design 

• Computerized Oxberry 
With Image Expander 

• Slides to Film 



Film Planning Associates 

38 East 20 Street 
New York, NY 10003 
212-260-7140 



the LIBRARY of 

SPECIAL EFX 



60 min. Video $ 300. = 
Unlimited Use/Broadcast rights 



DARINO FILMS (212) 228-4024 



TITLES • CREDITS 
OPTICALS • EFFECTS 



COMPUTERIZED 
ANIMATION STAND 



STREAKS ■ STROBES 
SLIDES TO FILM 



DARINO FILMS 
222 PARK AVE. SOUTH 
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 
(212) 228-4024 



THE INDEPENDENT 




SUSAN 
BODINE 

ESQ 

• 

PROVIDING 

REASONABLY PRICED 

QUALITY 

LEGAL SERVICES 

IN THE ENTERTAINMENT AREA 

AND TO THE 

INDEPENDENT FILM & VIDEO 

COMMUNITY 

NO CHARGE FOR 
INITIAL CONSULTATION 



888 SEVENTH AVENUE 

NEW YORK NY 10019 

212 «245 • 2211 



Paulsell (one of the many people whose 
tireless efforts made the Philadelphia confer- 
ence possible) at NYU/TITP, 725 Broadway, 
4th floor, New York NY 10003. 

— Eric Breitbart 



Indie Confronts 
Subpoena with Legal Help 

Erik Lewis, a New York independent pro- 
ducer, was shooting a videotape entitled 
Where Can I Live?, a documentary concern- 
ed with gentrification and displacement of 
low-income residents in the Park Slope sec- 
tion of Brooklyn, when he became embroiled 
in a court proceeding. Lewis took his camera 
to the annual Rent Guidelines Board 
meeting, at which the levels of rent increases 
for the next year would be set. Arguments 
between landlords and tenants escalated into 
a demonstration, and by the time the police 
arrived, the meeting had degenerated into a 
"circus" — Lewis kept right on taping. 

Subsequently, the landlords, unhappy with 
the final results of the meeting, claimed that 
the Board had been pressured by the circus- 
like atmosphere into a decision favoring the 
tenants. They sought to have the Board's 
decision overturned and to have all future 
meetings held behind closed doors. The 
landlords offered to buy a copy of Lewis' 
tapes, having deemed that only they could 
show the court the true atmosphere of the 
meeting. Lewis declined. Two days later he 
and his tapes were subpoenaed in the US 
District Court. 

Lewis, quite naturally reluctant to risk his 
credibility and equally reluctant to help the 
landlords' case, began to seek legal advice. 
He finally connected with a Washington 
group called the Reporters' Committee for 
Freedom of the Press, who put Lewis in 
touch with New York attorney Libby Har- 
rison. Harrison sought to quash the sub- 
poena on the grounds that Lewis was covered 
under New York's shield law protecting jour- 
nalists (even though his sources were not con- 
fidential), and that since the meeting was a 
matter of public record anyway, there was no 
need for Lewis' tapes. After a number of 
postponements, the landlords' entire case 
was thrown out of court and no decision was 
handed down on the subpoena. 

Of particular interest to Independent 
readers is the existence of the Reporters' 
Committee. Active since 1970, RCFP is an 
independent foundation that provides cost- 
free legal advice for reporters, journalists,, 
academics, documentarians, camerapeople 
and photographers. It also publishes two 
periodicals: a bimonthly newsletter providing 
updates on freedom of the press issues, and a 
magazine entitled News Media and the Law. 
The Reporters' Committee can be reached at 
1125 15th Street, NW, Room 403, 
Washington DC 20005; (202) 466-6312. 
Here's hoping you never have to call. 

— Barry Rossnick 



Foreign Dealer 
Plays Rip-off Game 

Independent producers seeking interna- 
tional sales and distribution are strongly ad- 
vised to keep a close eye on the distribution 
agents with whom they deal. The Indepen- 
dent cites as an example the problems that a 
number of filmmakers have had with Euro- 
pean distributor William Harper and his 
company American-European Film Services. 

Victor Nunez, director of Gal Young 'Un, 
has been owed over $8,000 by Harper for 
over two years. According to Nunez and in- 
die producer Bob Richter (who is also owed 
money), Harper's modus operandi is to make 
foreign distribution contracts, collect the 
royalties quickly and either never inform the 
filmmaker of the deal or else never turn over 
the money. Richter cites numerous telephone 
calls to Paris in which Harper was "cordial 
and contrite," but his letters remain 
unanswered. Nunez concurs: "He is very 
conciliatory in person or on the phone — but 
he always gives a song and a dance." Accord- 
ing to both filmmakers, Harper has a history 
of personal problems which seems to excuse 
him in the eyes of many associates. Nunez 
complained that "People will rarely say, 
'Yeah, he's a crook.' He's always excused 
with 'He's had a hard time.' But I still 
haven't been paid." Nunez asked to be 
quoted as "one of several people" who have 
had similar problems. 

When reached by The Independent for 
comment, Harper admitted "Both men are 
correct. I do owe them money. I definitely in- 
tend to pay both of them." He went on to ex- 
plain "I've had a bad year, but things are 
very much better now. I don't wish to gyp 
either of them out of one nickel. I like them 
both very much. But you can't put things 
back together in a month. I do intend to pay 
them. I'm sorry that this has happened." 

Nunez also advised AIVF members, "You 
really take your life in your hands dealing in 
Europe. First, you should try to distribute a 
film yourself, if at all possible." In the case 
of someone like Harper, "there is no clout to 
keep him honest. And there's nothing I can 
do now short of going to Paris and hiring a 
lawyer. All I can really do is warn people 
away." Nunez recommends that anyone who 
must deal with an agent should always main- 
tain direct contact with the buyer in order to 
protect one's interests. 

Members experiencing similar difficulties 
with foreign or domestic distributors can 
contact Media Clips at (212) 473-3400 

— Barry Rossnick 



FIRST CLASS SERVICE 

Add $10 to your regular annual membership fee, 

and you'll get The Independent via first class 

mail — in time for every deadline. Send your check 

or money order to FIVF, 625 Broadway, New York, 

NY 10012. 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



IN FOCUS 



Kodak Steals the Show 
At SMPTE Convention 



DAVID LEITNER 

The 124th Technical Conference and 
Equipment Exhibit of the Society of Motion 
Picture and Television Engineers convened in 
midtown Manhattan last November and be- 
came the largest ever, with 120 papers 
presented and 150 manufacturers vying for 
scant exhibition space. Despite the size and 
scope of the week-long event, however, few 
surprises were expected. Still reeling from the 
sonic booms of last year's SMPTE conven- 
tion in Los Angeles — high-speed negative 
from Kodak, high-definition television, elec- 
tronic cinematography cameras, !4 " ENG 
camera/recorders and applied solid-state sen- 
sors — many may have looked to the 1982 
technical conference as an opportunity to 
regroup the senses calmly and collectedly. If 
so, they were disappointed. 

The opening remarks Monday morning set 
the stage for some new and profound chal- 
lenges to the industry and the art. Judith 
Schwan, assistant director of Kodak's 
Research Labs, began by pointing out that a 
single Academy aperture-sized frame of 
35mm motion picture negative contains the 
equivalent of 3.5 million "memory elements" 



per color-sensitive layer. Extending the 
analogy, she ventured that at five digital bits 
per picture element, each frame could con- 
ceivably store 1.5 million words of text — well 
beyond the capability of electronic storage 
means. Schwan suggested that, rather than 
colliding head-on, photochemistry and elec- 
tronics will blend synergistically — i.e., the 
whole will exceed the sum of the parts. And 
Kodak should know: their electronics sub- 
sidiary, Spin Physics, recently introduced a 
high-speed MOS-chip video camera capable 
of 2,000 full video frames per second, 
establishing Kodak on the forefront of elec- 
tronic image research and development. 

Another Monday morning speaker, Kerns 
Powers of RCA Commercial research, 
looked into the near future and declared the 
high-definition television v. 35mm issue a 
waste of time: the coming face-off will take 
place between 16mm and Vi " VTR-bearing 
video cameras. At the same time, he 
lamented the fact that flaws in the design and 
display of the NTSC color video signal 
outweigh in significance those common to 
film. In remedy, he predicted, "extended 




' :::: ~ : - ~~*~~:rBz£%^3- 



>osi 



wA 



~y 










VIDEOUFE 

Creating 

the Image You Want 

At a Price You Can Afford 



POST-PRODUCTION 



3 /4" EDITING 

*$20/hour with Operator* 
Panasonic Advanced High Performance 

Editing System / For-A Character 
Generator / Fade Box / Audio Mixing 



DUBBING 

• $15/hour* 

Vz" and 3 /4" 

videotape 



TRANSFERS 

• $20/hour* 

Super 8 to 

V2 " or 3 A " videotape 



P R O D U C T I O N 



Low-cost Production Packages including 

JVC-2700A Broadcast & Sony 

DXC-1800 Industrial Cameras. Sony 

4800 Recorders, Lowell Lighting Kits, 

Monitors, Microphones & Accessories. 

Operators & Vehicle included. 



VIDEOLIFE 



New York NY 



(212) 722-2859 



Tell us what 
you've produced 
lately. 

CRM/McGraw-Hill, award- 
winning film producer and 
distributor, is interested in 
evaluating films produced by 
independent filmmakers for 
non-theatrical distribution. 

Of particular interest to us are 
college-level curriculum subjects 
and training films for business and 
industry, preferably 30 minutes 
or less. 

If you have newly completed 
products available for distribution 
which are compatible with our 
interests, we would like to hear 
from you. 

Write: Editorial Department, 
CRM/McGraw-Hill P.O. Box 641, 
Del Mar, C A 92014. 



CRM/McGraw-Hill 






JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



definition" recording and display 
devices — with special attention directed 
toward home receivers — will be designed to 
push the NTSC signal to its qualitative 
threshold: a goal that will preoccupy com- 
mercial manufacturers for the balance of this 
decade. Kerns' viewpoint was endorsed by 
Roland Zavada of Kodak, who personally 
singled out for attack the problem of 
overscan: 50% of home viewers see only 81% 
of the full image on their off-the-shelf TV 
sets. In his conclusion, Zavada, echoing the 
sentiments of the other speakers, proposed 
"imagery" as an umbrella term to subsume 
the separate categories of film and video 
distribution and display. 

"I SECOND THAT EMULSION" 

It's not surprising, all things considered, 
that Kodak figured prominently in two of the 
most significant advances to emerge from the 
1982 SMPTE conference: new emulsion tech- 
nology and magnetic time code for film. 
Eight months after the introduction of 
5293/7293 high-speed color negative, 75% of 
35mm production in this country has partial- 
ly or wholly used this product. Roused by the 
overwhelming response to 5293 and having 
reassessed the intrinsic merits of photo- 
graphic emulsions, Kodak has redoubled its 
commitment to film as the supreme medium 
for image origination, with a new, exciting 
emphasis on the possibilities of 16mm. 

At a SMPTE session, Kodak announced a 
new 16mm negative: 7291, rated at a tungsten 
Exposure Index of 100. It is finer-grained 
than 7247, especially in the all-important 
green layer, and sharper. Its rendition of 
gray-scale contrast is identical to 7247 — i.e., 
their sensitometric curves are parallel, but 
overall color rendition resembles the less 
saturated, flatter look of 5247. (This result 
was obtained by reducing unwanted "in- 
terimage effects," per a Kodak engineer with 
whom I talked after the session. His explana- 
tion was not perfectly clear, but probably 
referred to emulsion layer interactions that 
can occur during processing: By-products 
created during the development of one color- 
sensitive layer modify the simultaneous 
development of an adjacent layer, sometimes 
in a undesirable direction.) And more good 
news: 7291 is less sensitive to processing 
variations than 7247, pushes better, and on 
the basis of preliminary tests, promises better 
dye stability. It will replace 7247 when it 
comes on the market in the second quarter of 
1983. 

5291? Not yet, and maybe never. 5247 is 
already considered too sharp by many, and 
unless there is a reasonable demand Kodak is 
not going to bother. However, the tungsten 
EI of 5247 is being changed from 100 to 125 
to reflect actual industry practice. Kodak is 
within its rights in doing so, since EI is ar- 
bitrary: there is no standardized ANSI (ASA) 
or ISO rating system for motion picture film, 
as there is for still photography. For motion 
picture film, it is the responsibility of each 

8 



manufacturer to establish a method of rating 
speed. By amending the speed rating of 5247, 
Kodak is acknowledging the empirical fin- 
ding of many cinematographers that 35mm 
warrants a higher speed rating than 16mm, 
since 35mm grain is proportionately smaller, 
and underexposure therefore less critical. 




FIVF gratefully acknowledges the generous 

support of the following foundations, 

corporations and individuals who have 

donated money towards the Foundation's 

work. Such support ensures that we can 

continue to build media awareness and 

appreciation of independent video & film 

through our various programs and services 

to the independent producing community. 

Consolidated Edison of New York 
Chemical Bank 
Julianne Kemper, Santa Monica CA 



Sadly, Kodak announced its intention to 
commit infanticide by doing away with 
5293/7293, less than a year after its birth. 
The new 5294/7294 will be rated tungsten 
400/320 respectively, and Kodak claims to 
have achieved further reductions in 
graininess. In addition, the 16mm version, 
7294, is slightly finer in emulsion structure 
than 5294 — again reflecting Kodak's commit- 
ment to the special needs of 16mm. Both, like 
the new 7291, are compatible with current 
ECN processing and will be forthcoming in 
the second quarter of 1983. (No information 
on price increases seemed to be available.) 
Kodak is confident that '47, '91, '93 and '94 
are completely intercuttable and that the 
transition period will present few difficulties 
in this area. Moreover, hints were dropped 
that a motion picture version of Kodak's 
recently announced Kodacolor VR 1,000 
ASA, which represents a truly radical 
breakthrough in silver halide emulsion 
technology, might be possible. 

A NEW WRINKLE IN TIME 

In June, 1982, Eastman Kodak and the 
Motion Picture Association of America con- 
voked a gathering at the Academy of Motion 
Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood to 
float a novel idea: a clear film base with 
limited magnetic recording capabilities. 
Would the film industry be interested? The 
answer was a resounding YES!, and frequent 
huddles among major motion picture equip- 
ment manufacturers took place through the 
summer. At November's SMPTE conven- 
tion, Kodak formally unveiled "DataKode." 

DataKode is a feat of inspiration and wit. 
Others have suggested adhering magnetic 
tracks to the film base for recording time 
code; but fortune smiled broadly on the 
resourceful soul in Kodak R&D who thought 
to dilute conventional ferric oxide coating, 
the brown surface common to most magnetic 
tape, to the point of transparency and to 
blend the clear solution into film's acetate 



base. Voila! The recipe is a complete success. 
The microscopic ferric oxide particles of 
DataKode, widely dispersed and evenly 
spread through a thin acetate layer bonded to 
the base side of the film, can record enough 
digitized data onto a thin track to reproduce 
the SMPTE 80-bit-per-frame time code, even 
on 16mm. Since the magnetic layer in no way 
interferes with the photographic emulsion 
opposite it, multiple recording tracks can be 
established across the width of the film. 
Computer-based control systems relying on 
cheap, proven magnetic recording tech- 
nology can immediately exploit this develop- 
ment, perhaps bringing to film a measure of 
the automation common to video processing 
and postproduction. 

As of this writing, Aaton and Panavision 
have produced prototype camera magazines 
with magnetic heads designed to record time 
code, and others, such as Cinema Products, 
can't be far behind. As in single-system 
cameras, the record head must be located at a 
point where the film is continuously moving; 
otherwise the signal will not be recorded 
linearly. This requirement shouldn't impede 
the retrofitting of existing cameras for time 
code if the number of frames from the 
camera aperture to the record head can be 
fixed with reliability, so that the offset is 
always the same. Regarding placement of the 
record head: there remains the unresolved 
question of whether it should contact the 
film, leaving open the possibility of scrat- 
ching, or ride slightly above the DataKode 
surface, seriously reducing the amount of in- 
formation that can be recorded. 

Postproduction possibilities must be con- 
sidered as well. Film labs can record cueing 
and timing information on DataKode ori- 
ginal, duplicate and print stocks, while film- 
to-tape houses can surely use the magnetic 
frame address to facilitate film-to-tape 
transfers and editing. Accordingly, the size, 
location and recording method that suits 
their needs ought to be taken into account by 
camera manufacturers. History teaches us 
that if a standards organization such as 
SMPTE doesn't step in early enough to as- 
sume the role of traffic cop, commercial 
chaos will overtake good intentions, to the 
detriment of the user at large. 

Although Kodak tossed its Paul Bunyan- 
sized hat into the time code ring and all but 
covered it, competing optical time code 
systems put in a strong showing too. Optical 
time codes burnt into the camera original as it 
passes the camera aperture have the advan- 
tage of serving as permanent, non-erasable 
records. In the United States, Aaton and 
Coherent Communications dominate this 
technology. Aaton's "Clear Time 
Recording" system features legible alpha- 
numeric characters along the edge of the 
camera original and the 16mm sprocketed 
full-coat. Synching and conforming can be 
accomplished by eye. Coherent Communica- 
tions has perfected a method of recording 
along the edge of the camera original a 
SMPTE-type 80-bit code that can be read by 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



a simple optical device — the optical sound 
head on a flatbed, for instance. They feature, 
like Aaton, a circuit board interfaced to a 
Nagra that generates a parallel time code 
signal for quarter-inch sound. Arriflex in- 
tends to market this system in the US. It 
might be noted that, regardless of the recor- 
ding system used — magnetic or optical — each 
of these time codes produces the same hours, 
minutes, seconds and frames data; they are 
therefore somewhat transcodable. 

SHOPPING LIST 

The 1982 SMPTE convention surveyed a 
spectrum of evolving attitudes and tech- 
nologies in film and video. Those detailed 
above signal major changes in low-budget 
production techniques in the '80s, specifical- 
ly with regard to the "substandard" gauge of 
16mm film. For readers desiring a shopping 
list, however, there is a stack of thick, glossy 
magazines that will perforce detail the cor- 
nucopia of new products featured at the 
SMPTE equipment exhibit. The following 
items should be of particular interest: 

• An entire generation of video camera 
/recorders, most using souped-up non- 
standard Beta and VHS formats, except the 
Bosch KBF-1, recording broadcast quality 
ENG on !4 " cassette; 

• Portable 1 " Type C recorders, particular- 
ly, the Ampex VPR-5, weighing in under 15 
lbs. and looking every inch the Nagra that it 
is; 

• Lightweight 35mm sound cameras, the 
Aaton 8-35 and the FeatherCam; 

• Everything from Arri: especially the up- 
dated 12V II-C (now labeled III-C), the 
universal crystal controls for 29.97 and 30 
fps, an electronic viewfinder image enhancer 
for night shooting and a lightweight, por- 
table, counter-weighted jib arm that supports 
two + cameras, yet requires as little as one 
operator; 

• Everything from Aaton, especially the 
bantam "Cineminima" that could replace the 
ACL; 

• Scaled-down 12V, 100W tungsten- 
halogen lights from Cine 60 and LTM, some 
focusable and with barn doors; 

• A smartly designed digital photo- 
tachometer from Cinematography Elec- 
tronics that registers HMI flicker frequency 
as well as absolute camera frame rate; 

• Cinemonta's Super- 16 flatbed head and 
video double-system flatbed for editing 
sprocketed 16mm mag tracks; 

• The new Cooke VaroPanchro 10-30mm T 
1.5 16mm/Super-16mm "variable prime," 
weigh in at 4.8 lbs. and $14,000; and 

• Lastly, if strangely, collimators for prism- 
optics color video cameras from the 
venerable Mitchell Camera Corporation (I've 
seen Vidicons and Saticons, circuits turned 
off, scarred that way, but you can't blame 
them for trying). ■ 

David Leitner was session chairman of 
Motion Picture Production at the 124th 
SMPTE Technical Conference. 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1903 



WMD6 

Sync Recorder 

Offered as the first viable alternative to 
the expensive Nagra SNN mini sync 
recorder, the Sony WM-D6 offers truly 
impressive audio specifications in a very 
small package. At almost half the price 
of the D5M it is also the lowest cost 
professional sync recorder available. 

FEATURES 

• Internal 60HZ Crystal 

• Dolby Noise Reduction 

• All Tape Formulations 

• Manual Recording Gain 

• Monitor Level Control 

• Vari-Speed Adjustment 

• Resolver Available 

• Cue & Review Function 

• Automatic Shut-Off 

• LED Vu Meter Readout 




SPECIFICATIONS: 
Frequency Response: 

40hzto15Khz. 
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 

58dB. (Metal Tape) 
Harmonic Distortion: 

1.0% (Metal Tape) 
Wow& Flutter: 

0.04% (WRMS) 
Dimensions: 

7.25 x 1.62x3.75" 
Weight: 

1 lb. 7 oz. 

PRICE: $549.00 (Includes case, AC 
adaptor, headphones, 2 cannon mike 
cables, line in/out patch cords. 



he Film Group {2 ° 3) 527 - 2972 est 

BOX 9 WETHERSFIELD, CT 06 1 09 



AUDIO MASTERS 
FOR VIDEO 

At Videotracks we specialize exclusively in 
Post Production Audio for Video, so we can 
charge you one low comprehensive rate. 

Our service includes a fully equipped Sound 
Studio, Interlocked Studer Machines (24Trk- 
4Trk-2Trk), Automated Mix Board, Dolby, 
Filters, Limiters, Sound Effects Library and 
Original Music. 



AUDIO FOR VIDEO 



V 

% VIDEO TRACKS 

(212) 944-7920 260 West 39th St., 17th Fl., N.Y.,N.Y. 10018 



I 



THE INDEPENDENT 



A World 
Of Their Own 



WGBH's David Fanning, producer of "World," is whipping 

up a new documentary series, "Frontline. " But it's all 

happening behind closed doors and everyone is getting curious. 



Frontline, the new public television 
documentary series slated to air this month, 
is not the only source of public television pro- 
duction money for independent documen- 
tarians, but it is, in the words of the show's 
senior producer, "one of the few games in 
town." Last January, the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting (CPB) granted Boston's 
WGBH $5 million in Program Fund money 
— the largest single annual production grant 
ever — and simultaneously stopped allocating 
new funds to the documentary series Crisis to 
Crisis, a major vehicle for independent work. 
(The Program Fund has also conditionally 
allocated an additional $4 million to 
Frontline for its second season.) The 
Frontline grant came at a time when the total 
funds available to the Program Fund had 
been substantially cut, and in the midst of a 
controversial proposal to restructure the Pro- 
gram Fund itself (see Media Clips, p. 4) 

Since January, Frontline 's relationship to 
the independent film community has grown 
increasingly complex. Various producers 
have accused the show of exclusive and 
secretive decision-making processes, and 
have challenged its very definition of "in- 
dependent filmmaker." In response, Front- 
line's management has maintained that it is 
following the directives it received from 
CPB. 

Frontline is envisioned as a 26-week, na- 
tionally broadcast prime-time series of major 
documentary programs. Of the 26 slots, nine 
are billed as independently produced films, 
three are lengthy in-house investigative 
reports, four are being produced by 
England's Fourth Channel, and the rest will 
be either acquired films or up-to-the minute, 
hard news in-house documentaries. While 
WGBH is the editorial and financial center of 
the series (and the actual recipient of the CPB 
grant), four other PBS stations— KCTS (Se- 
attle), WPBT (Miami), WTVS (Detroit) and 
WNET (New York) — have joined with 
WGBH to form a production consortium for 
the show. Upon formation, the consortium 
immediately hired David Fanning as Front- 
line's executive producer. Fanning is well- 
known both for his work on the critically ac- 
claimed World series and for his controver- 
10 



SUSAN LINFIELD 

sial re-editing of David Koff 's Blacks Britan- 
nica, which resulted in a four-year lawsuit 
against Fanning by Koff. 

BACKGROUND 

The 1978 Telecommunications Financing 
Act, which established the Program Fund to 
fund diverse and innovative progams for the 
public television system, mandated that a 
"substantial amount" of the fund's money 




David Fanning, executive producer of 'Front- 
line,' says eight of ten films in the series are 
'independent'. 

be reserved for distribution to independent 
producers. Because the announcement of the 
Frontline grant coincided with the cancella- 
tion of Crisis to Crisis, many independents 
expected that established Program Fund pro- 
cedures such as the use of peer panels and na- 
tional distribution of requests for proposals 
(RFPs) would apply to the new series. With- 
out assurances that these procedures would 
be implemented, the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) took the 
position soon after the announcement of the 
series that funds administered by WGBH 
could not be considered a fulfillment of 
CPB's mandate to fund independently pro- 
duced programs. However, in response to an 
inquiry from AIVF in September, 1982, 
David Fanning wrote of his "commitment" 
to "reach out to the independent filmmaking 
community to take on a major load of pro- 
duction for the series... Of the ten films that 
are now either being researched or in produc- 



tion, eight are independent productions." 

On the other hand, according to Fanning, 
CPB made it clear that it was expecting him 
to create "a very strong inquiry series" under 
the centralized authority of an executive pro- 
ducer who would exert a strong editorial role 
in shaping the series — that is, in personally 
choosing the filmmakers who would work on 
the show and the issues they would in- 
vestigate. While having no across-the-board 
objections to structuring a show in this way, 
some producers have questioned whether this 
type of production can properly be labeled 
"independent." 

ACRIMONY 

The first controversy concerned 
Front line's method of soliciting program 
ideas. Diverging from previously established 
Program Fund procedures, no RFPs were 
circulated. Wade Nichols, development coor- 
dinator of the Boston Film/Video Founda- 
tion, said that there was "no attempt to elicit 
proposals from independents here, no at- 
tempt to bring in new blood from Boston, 
much less from around the country." Gail 
Silva of the Film Arts Foundation in San 
Francisco said that her center received no in- 
formation about the show, and that she her- 
self first learned of it from colleagues in New 
York. "Lots of people around here were try- 
ing to find out about the series — and being 
unsuccessful," she said. San Francisco film- 
maker Jim Culp (Quilts in Women's Lives) 
said that by the time he learned of the series 
and submitted a proposal, all of the show's 
money had already been allocated. "There 
was no way for independents out here to find 
out in time," he said. According to Fanning, 
due to time constraints, "no formal requisi- 
tion to the entire country" could be made. 

Since no clear guidelines for submitting 
proposals to Frontline were publicized to the 
independent community, many producers 
were uncertain about how to approach the 
program and often disgruntled over Front- 
line's lack of responsiveness when they did. 
Lou Wiley, Frontline's series editor, said, 
"We've responded in good order to people. I 
think everybody has heard from us clearly." 
However, several producers have questioned 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Frontline 's sense of responsibility toward in- 
dependents. Diego Echeverria (Puerto Rico: 
A Colony the American Way) said he submit- 
ted 13 proposals to Fanning and, at 
Fanning's suggestion, then submitted a re- 
search report — to which he got no response. 
"One of the major drawbacks of the show 
was that there was no established procedure 
for submitting work," Echeverria said. "Was 
he [Fanning] accepting proposals or not?" 
Robert Richter (Pesticides and Pills) said he 
spent over a month simply trying to find out 
how to submit an idea, and waited three 
months to get a response to his letter and 
phone calls. The members of an independent 
documentary company (who, along with 
several other producers, asked to remain 
anonymous) met with a Frontline staffer, to 
whom they showed both a written proposal 
and a sample reel; four months later, they say 
they have still heard nothing. (Their work 
was evidently good enough, however, for 
someone who identified himself as a 
Frontline producer to solicit their advice in 
developing his own project.) An award-win- 
ning California director who described Fann- 
ing as "totally unresponsive" to his phone 
calls said, "This guy has no accountability to 
the independent community. At this point, if 
I had a choice, I'd choose not to work with 
them. But they have such an astounding 
amount of money. " 

CRITERIA FOR PROJECTS 

The show also never explained its criteria 
for evaluating independent proposals. Lou 
Wiley has estimated that, as of November, 
the show had received about 400 unsolicited 
written and oral proposals. Fanning said that 
every proposal was considered and that he 
feels "we gave everybody a fair shot." His 
only criterion, he said was "[his own] ex- 
perience. I've been reading proposals for 
years. But I went into this wide open. Will 
this film be great? How does it advance the 
inquiry? I don't pretend to have the answers 
to the issues we're dealing with. But I want to 
be moved and surprised and find out there's 
real inquiry going on." As for concentration 
of decision-making power in his hands, Fan- 
ning said, "I'm an executive producer, not a 
funder. And I wasn't interested in creating a 
political sham, where things go through a 
committee but are decided by an executive 
producer anyway." This view is supported by 
Frontline's Editorial Advisory Board, which 
plays a purely advisory role and is not in- 
volved in either reading program proposals 
or overseeing those shows already in produc- 
tion. "We are not an executive producing 
board," said Michael Ambrosino of Public 
Broadcasting Associates, Inc., a member of 
the Editorial Board. "We are the weak end of 
the reed, playing a careful role. David has to 
make this his series, along with his staff." 

However, the lack of clearly understood 
criteria and the absence of peer panels has 
caused some independents to feel, as Robert 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



Richter said, that the show was operating "in 
a mode which really precludes most in- 
dependents from getting fair access. I have 
no objection to getting knocked out of a fair 
competition. If my ideas don't hold up, 
that's one thing — but in this case I don't 
even know if that's true or not." Diego 
Echeverria queried, "Who had final authori- 
ty? A program using independent funds 
should have clearly established procedures. I 
believe in a strong executive producer; I think 
his role is to offer an orientation for the 
series. But there should be a fair chance." 
Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple 
(Harlan County, USA) said she was treated 
"nicely" by Fanning but that "I got the feel- 
ing that he wanted to work with people he 
had worked with in the past, that he didn't 
want to take risks with people he didn't 
know." Others suspected that the show was 
not simply ignoring but was actually pre- 
judiced against independents. An award- 
winning New York filmmaker said that the 
Frontline staffer she met made 
"disparaging" comments about in- 
dependents, accusing them of "unreliability" 
and "journalistic inaccuracy." A Boston in- 
dependent said, "I'm willing to compete with 
other independents, but we didn't even get a 
crack at it. They should give the money 
back." 

Others have praised Fanning's sense of 
fairness and professional judgment but ques- 
tioned the allocation of Program Fund 
money to a station consortium (65% of 
Frontline's budget comes from the Program 
Fund). "I have very basic doubts about 
allocating funding to the station, instead of 
directly to filmmakers," Jim Culp said. Ac- 
cording to CPB, 62% of Frontline's budget 
will be used for documentary production, 
with 12% going for promotion, 10% for ad- 
ministrative expenses, and the rest for "live 
introductions, mini-docs, satellite intercon- 
nections and updates." 

The centralization of money and decision- 
making power at WGBH has been seen by 
some as actually precluding independent ac- 
cess. Jay Anania, a Boston filmmaker who 
regards Fanning as personally "sympathetic" 
to independents, said, "The mandate for 
public TV to support independents more vig- 
orously has been turned over to one quantity, 
WGBH. The problem is that these people are 
the sole dischargers of that mandate: 
decision-making is centralized in one room. 
The task is just too large for one show and 
the machinery wasn't there to do an equitable 
job. They couldn't answer to all the indepen- 
dents in America. The mandate to help inde- 
pendents has been usurped — it's gone. Now 
CPB can say it's done its job." Steve 
Weissman, currently producing a film on gun 
control for Frontline, said, "The situation 
for independents has definitely changed. 
David does encourage controversy. But 
where you used to be able to go to many peo- 
ple in the PTV system, now you have to go to 
one group. All films will have to fit roughly 



into what this one group of people think they 
should be. It will be good for some film- 
makers and bad for others." 

Fanning himself is aware of the problems 
Frontline's organization has posed for inde- 
pendents. "There is a great need in public 
television to get a great range of people on 
the air," he said. "I am enormously sym- 
pathetic to those who want access to the 
medium." He praised WNET's TV Lab 
under David Loxton — known among many 
independents as a show in which the ex- 
ecutive producer maintains a relatively low 
profile and which offers its filmmakers a 
large measure of editorial freedom — as 
"great. If that fails, some other mechanism 
must be set up for independents." But, he 
continued, "Quite simply, if they [CPB and 
the consortium] wanted a strong public af- 
fairs documentary series, there isn't any 
other way to do it [than Frontline's]. I just 
don't know how much I can take the [PTV] 
system's burdens on my shoulders. I think 
I'm being asked to resolve the system's con- 
flicts, and I think that's unfair." 

JUST AMONG FRIENDS 

Whether the cause is personal or struc- 
tural, Frontline's mode of operation has left 
it vulnerable to charges of favoritism and 
cronyism. Particularly disturbing to many in- 
dependents is the correlation between former 
World staffers and producers for the "new" 
series. Fanning said that, when he received 
the Program Fund grant, "I called everyone I 
knew and asked them, 'Who are the best pro- 
ducers you know?'," and added that, 
because there was an "enormous task and 
very little time, we had to rely quite a lot on 
World and our [previous] contacts." Of the 
nine producers currently working on inde- 
pendent Frontline segments, three — Ofra 
Bikel, Stephanie Tepper and her husband 
William Cran — are former World producers 
(Cran is actually producing two segments of 
the show, one " independently" and one "in- 
house.") Another Frontline producer, Steve 
Weissman, was assistant producer on the 
BBC's Islamic Bomb, which aired in a recut 
version on World in 1980. (In addition, of 
course, two top spots at the show — executive 
producer and series editor — are filled by their 
World counterparts.) Wilma Hill, associate 
director of promotion for WGBH, said that 
World had essentially been "assimilated" in- 
to Frontline and that, before the new series 
was named, it was known around WGBH as 
"Son of World." This situation has led one 
Boston filmmaker to protest that "the last of 
the independent money is going to the old- 
boy WGBH network," while David Koff 
characterized the Frontline staff and manage- 
ment as "the old Bureau of 
Homogenization." As for next year's slots, 
Fanning said, "Quite frankly, it would be a 
pity if the people who did a good job [this 
season] don't get a chance to continue." 

Frontline's staffing choices have also given 
new life to the old question, "What is an in- 

11 



INDEPENDENT 

UNITED 

AT THE SAME TIME ? 



As an independent video or filmmaker, you've 
decided to work "outside the system"— which 
means you need a community of peers even more. 
The Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 
{AIVF) is such a community. As the national trade 
association for independent producers, AIVF 
represents your needs and goals to government, 
industry and the general public. After eight years of 
testifying before Congress, lobbying the public TV 
system, and working through media coalitions to 
preserve and strengthen cable access, we've 
proven that together we have a voice people must & 
do listen to. 

Along with our sister organization, the Foundation 
for Independent Video & Film (FIVF), we also offer 
you a wealth of concrete services: 
* Comprehensive health insurance at affordable 
rates * The Independent Magazine, our film & 
video monthly * FIVF's Festival Bureau, providing 
foreign & domestic liaison * Comprehensive 
information services * National Membership 
Directory listing * Professional Screenings & 
Seminars 



There's 
Strength in 
Numbers... 

JOIN TODAY! 

□$25/yr Individual 

□ 15/yr Student with ID 

□$50/yr Organization 

Add $10 Outside US & Canada 



THE INDEPENDENT 




NAME. 



ADDRESS . 



CITY/STATE/ZIP . 



Send check or money order to: AIVF, 625 Broadway, (between 
Bleecker & Houston) 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Drop by our 
offices or call (212) 473-3400. 
I I 

12 



dependent filmmaker?", which many used to 
regard as having roughly the same practical 
importance as "How many angels can dance 
on the head of a pin?" Some view the majori- 
ty of Frontline producers as freelancers who 
have produced commissioned pieces for the 
networks and PBS, not as independent film- 
makers responsible for proposing, develop- 
ing and directing their own ideas, free from 
station control. "Who are they defining as 
'independent'?" asked Deborah Shaffer (The 
Wobblies). "They're only willing to deal with 
people who have had years of experience 
making films for television. It's scandalous." 
Fanning said that "independent means all 
things to all people," but also acknowledged 
that one of his main criteria for choosing 
filmmakers was extensive previous broadcast 
journalism experience — which automatically 
excludes most independent filmmakers who, 
by definition, produce independently of both 
film studios and TV stations. 

The nine producers identified as "indepen- 
dent" by Frontline include, in addition to the 
three ex-Worlders, a former staff producer 
for the NBC affiliate in San Francisco; two 
former freelance producers for Bill Moyers' 
Journal; an ex-BBC staffer who said his 
Frontline project is his first independent film; 
and the producer of two Westinghouse- 
sponsored series for PBS. Two of these pro- 
ducers said that they did not submit program 
proposals but, instead, were asked by Fann- 
ing to join the show. In one such case, the 
filmmaker said that "the idea for the film 
was Fanning's"; in the other, the filmmaker 
said he was asked to produce and direct a 
proposal which had originally been submitted 
by two other filmmakers (currently listed as 
"co-producers" on the project) because of 
his previous television experience. "It stret- 
ches the imagination to say that the people 
chosen are independent filmmakers," Jay 
Anania said. Even Lewis Freedman, former 
director of the Program Fund, has admitted 
that the Frontline grant cannot be considered 
funding for independents. 

Whether commissioned or independently 
developed, WGBH owns the copyright and 
retains final editorial control for all Frontline 
films. Fanning explained: "Some people I 
don't intend to see until the fine cut. Other 
people really want to talk a lot at the rough 
stage. I don't have a vision, I don't have the 
answers. What I can do best is be helpful in 
terms of syntax, give them a fresh eye, sug- 
gest tricks, or say whether a film is clear 
enough or has enough evidence." Steve 
Weissman, one of the few Frontline film- 
makers currently at the fine cut stage, said, 
"David has very strict ideas about film. He's 
not just a publisher who will let you make 
your own film. He has intervened quite 
strongly; he did not like our first cut. But he 
only pushed me to go more in the direction 
of what / had wanted to say. I had leaned too 
much toward blandness in the first cut." 

What particularly excites David Fanning 
about the Frontline project is the possibility 



of "selling" the one-hour documentary for- 
mat to a wide audience at a time when the 
networks are "gutting" documentary pro- 
duction. Fanning seems genuinely concerned 
about using what he called the "awesome" 
amount of money he received from the Pro- 
gram Fund wisely. "It is an enormous 
privilege," he said. "I feel I have to be able to 
look a working man in the eye and spend his 
money well." In its first season, Frontline 
plans to investigate such difficult issues as 
military spending's permeation of the US 
economy and the experience of abortion 
from inside a clinic. 

Independents, too, are looking forward to 
the inauguration of a new, prime-time 
documentary series. But they are also looking 
forward to winning full and impartial access 
to public television funds. ■ 

Letters, Continued from page 3 

Most people's reactions to the Co-op: 
April, 1982: Co-op formed. "A Co-op what? 
You've got to be crazy." 
June, 1982: Active membership drive and 
press development. "Nice idea, but too little 
too late; you'll never make it." 
July, 1982: Pre-Marilyn Preston article, 
Chicago Tribune. All our friends tell us we're 
idealistic but flaky: "It'll never happen." 
One or two people pay memberships and 
volunteer quality time. 
July, 1982: Post-Marilyn Preston article. 
Phone rings off the hook. Co-op members go 
insane writing proposal and negotiating with 
Satellite. 

Aug., 1982: One co-op member' leaves 
town — pressure too much. One stays to write 
and supervise proposal packaging for 
Satellite. 

Sept., 1982: Bid is made under Satellite's 
name. Some people think we're dead; others 
figure it out and say, "Where do I sign?" 
Oct., 1982: AIVF article. We can't do 
anything for the access situation in New 
York, but we are trying to create a cozy home 
away from home to give independent produc- 
tion a solid base and marketing point. We 
also have an endowment set up to help secure 
matching funds for independents, and we 
won't take a year and thirty panel members 
across the country to say yea or nay. All we 
promise is that Co-op members get top 
priority in jobs, access and all assistance. We 
are a member-owned organization. 

Other developments in Chicago: The Net- 
work is being formed. This is a loose con- 
federation of Midwestern media users and 
producers to share resources and create bet- 
ter relations among independent film and 
videomakers. 

Claudia E. Crask 
Chicago Community Cable Cooperative 

Readers interested in contacting the Co-op 
should write to: Chicago Community Cable 
Cooperative, Suite 1315, 400 East Randolph, 
Chicago IL 60601, (312) 421-5536. ■ 

JANUARY • FEBRUARY 1933 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Indies Freshen Up 
An Academic Discipline 

Shedding its "data" or "spectacle" image, ethnographic film 

is becoming more provocative and wide-ranging these days. A 

peek at some work from the Margaret Mead Film Fest. 



Throughout its history, anthropological 
film has been a schizoid science — or art, 
depending on which school of thought one 
adheres to. Most of us baby-boomers are 
more familiar with what might be termed the 
"National Geographic school" of an- 
thropological cinema, having grown up with 
the beautifully shot and interestingly paced 
but ultimately condescending, even col- 
onialist travelogues that were standard after- 
noon fare in the early days of television. 
These were (and still are) produced for a 
commercial market, with emphasis on enter- 
tainment value at the expense of accuracy 
and comprehensiveness, and tend to play up 
the "exotic" nature of the subjects: their dif- 
ferentness from the viewer. 

At the other extreme is the academic tradi- 
tion, which until recently was characterized 
by dry, stilted, nearly unwatchable films 
— documentaries in the most literal sense. 
Social scientists originally envisioned the 
medium as a means of recording data about 
vanishing cultures, a more objective and 
detailed form of field notes. In the interests 
of the scientific method, purist ethnographic 
filmmakers condemned all out-of-camera 
editing as a sure means of incorporating 
one's own cultural bias into the finished pro- 
duct. Films consisting of a single ten-minute 
or longer take (depending on the size of the 
magazine available at the time) were the 
result of this approach; most have been 
relegated to archives. 

Veteran anthropological filmmaker Jean 
Rouch threw a monkey wrench into this 
camp when he pointed out that the very 
nature, the inherent selectivity, of the film 
medium precludes any possibility of the true 
objectivity demanded by science. The uproar 
that he started in the late 1950s has continued 
in the academic community up to the present. 
Rouch himself dealt with what he perceived 
as the hypocrisy of his own methods by mov- 
ing into more consciously fictionalized 
forms. He could not have foreseen that in 
pushing the "travelogue" and "document" 
schools together, he was creating a vacuum 
that independent producers would be the 
natural candidates to fill. 

The popular-entertainment- v. -scholarly- 
objectivity battle rages on in all its con- 
JANUARY* FEBRUARY 1983 



FRANCES M. PIATT 

voluted ramifications in the academic jour- 
nals, but at a public forum like the sixth an- 
nual Margaret Mead Film Festival, held at 
New York's American Museum of Natural 
History in October, the dust has settled 
enough for the lay observer to conclude that 
independents have indeed moved resource- 
fully into the breach. The lack of consensus 




Carrescia's documentary portrait of the Guate- 
malan Mam Indians may be the last— troops 
started massacring the villagers six weeks 
after she left. 

has caused a loosening of definitions, and 
festival entrants responded with a broad 
spectrum of hybrid approaches. Scholarship, 
aesthetics, objectivity and advocacy can all 
be found in modern ethnographic films, 
sometimes in surprising juxtapositions; and 
independents, with no ideological debt to 
either camp, deserve a good deal of the credit 
for this sense of fresh perspective. 

According to the Museum's Curator of 
Education, Malcolm Arth, who co-chairs the 
Margaret Mead Film Festival along with 
Florence Stone, "The majority of films in 
this festival were not made by anthropol- 
ogists," although the producers used an- 
thropological techniques. In Arth's view, the 
magic ingredient brought by this new breed 
of documentarian is a commitment to the 
films' subjects as people, a willingness to 



spend time getting to know them before 
shooting, which ultimately brings their own 
subjectivity, rather than the filmmaker's, to 
the forefront of the story. 

INDIES IN THE ANDES 

John Cohen was represented by two films 
in the 1982 festival; his Peruvian Weaving 
was made in 1980, but Cohen first went to 
Peru to learn the weaving techniques of the 
Qeros Indians as an MFA candidate in 1956. 
He went back many times in between, ac- 
quainting himself with the people, collecting 
music and folktales, studying pottery, and 
making a film called Qeros: The Shape of 
Survival for WGBH's Nova series. (I will not 
elaborate here on Cohen's battle with 
WGBH over their "butchering" of Qeros; in- 
terested readers may contact the Boston Film 
and Video Foundation for full documenta- 
tion.) 

On top of a successful career as a freelance 
photographer — he worked for Time, Life 
and Esquire and did the stills for Robert 
Frank's Pull My Daisy — Cohen developed a 
strong reputation in the 1950s and '60s as a 
musician and folklorist. He was a long-time 
member of an influential folk and bluegrass 
band, the New Lost City Ramblers, which 
helped him attract private investors for his 
first few films, beginning with The High 
Lonesome Sound in 1962. Unsurprisingly, 
such visibility stood him in good stead with 
public funding sources, and he has since 
garnered support from NYSCA, NEA and 
AFI. A combination of funds from NEA,- 
Braniff Airlines, the Peruvian Ministry of 
Culture and the State University of New 
York at Purchase (where he teaches in order 
to support his "film habit") enabled him to 
devote a complete film to the sophisticated 
techniques that have developed over the past 
5,000 years among the weavers of the Andes. 
But few independents enter the field with 
such an impressive track record, and many 
must rely solely on self-financing. 

HOW YOU GONNA KEEP 'EM DOWN 
ON THE FARM? 

One novice producer who made a big 
splash at this year's Mead Festival is Olivia 

13 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Carrescia. Like Cohen, her original training 
was in the visual arts, and like him she was 
aesthetically attracted to the colorful craft- 
work of indigenous peoples of mountainous 
areas of Latin America. She first visited the 
remote village of Todos Santos Cuchumatan 
while scouting locations in Guatemala for a 
PBS children's series. It was the "openness" 
of the inhabitants as much as the beauty of 
the setting that lured her back there to make 
her movie of the same name, with funds 
gleaned from her own paychecks. 

Although Carrescia did her homework 
first, using research materials on the Mam In- 
dians at the Instituta Indigenista, she was by 
her own admission somewhat naive when she 
arrived once again in Todos Santos. But two 
months spent living among the Mams, and a 
willingness to tailor the piece to depict their 
point of view rather than her own preconcep- 
tions ("I asked them what the film should be 
about"), turned what might have been a 
"quaint native rituals" travelogue into a 
moving account of human adaptability to 
cultural flux. 

Forced by deforestation of the mountain 
slopes and consequent erosion of farmland to 
migrate annually to work on lowland cotton 
plantations, the Mams encounter hunger, 
discrimination, low wages and miserable 
working conditions. But they also learn 
Spanish, and thereby become able to com- 
municate with native speakers of the 21 other 
Mayan dialects — the first step towards 
organizing to protect themselves against ex- 
ploitation by the dominant mestizo popula- 
tion. Carrescia says she "got a political 
education" while making this film; she may 
also have gotten the last possible portrait of 
these highland villagers. For within six weeks 
of her departure in December, 1979, 
Guatemalan government troops began to 
massacre Indians in the vicinity of Todos 
Santos. All communication with the village 
was cut off, and as of October, nearly three 
years later, had not yet been restored. 



CIVIL VENEER CRACKS IN THE PIT 

The desire to document dying or changing 
ways of life remains one of the primary 
motivations for making ethnographic film. 
But anthropology need not deal with 
"exotic" topics; the trend of the last decade 
has been an increasing focus on western 
cultures. In fact, two sections of the 1982 
Mead Festival were titled Looking at 
America and Urban Life. "Backyard an- 
thropology" has the dual advantage of deal- 
ing with relatively unexamined subjects and 
being cheap to do. A number of American in- 
dependents are already utilizing the wealth of 
material provided by minority ethnic groups 
in their own communities; a pioneering few, 
like Pauline Spiegel, have taken the 
audacious step of examining microcosms of 
the mainstream American WASP culture 
from an anthropological viewpoint. To make 
14 



such a film work for the mainstream 
American viewer, one must revert to the 
discredited (by Rouch and his followers) 
distancing techniques of early films of the 
genre: we must be made to see our own socie- 
ty as something foreign, alien. 

Spiegel accomplishes this task very effec- 
tively in The Gold Pit. The economy that 
feeds us all balances precariously on such ap- 
parently irrational activities as the manic 
competition of the gold traders in the Com- 
modities Exchange, so we consider it more or 
less "normal." But what would an extrater- 
restrial anthropologist think of their eight- 
hour screaming sessions, as depicted in 
Spiegel's film? She might note the absence of 
female brokers or apprentices on the floor of 
the Exchange and conclude that she is wit- 
nessing a bizarre Earthling masculinity ritual. 
(And she might not be far from the truth; at 
least, the traders' dating behavior and ex- 
pressed attitude toward women do not con- 
tradict this interpretation.) 

Spiegel herself makes no judgments; 
without commentary, she just gives the sub- 
jects of The Gold Pit enough celluloid to 
hang themselves by their own words and ac- 
tions. It is up to the viewers to draw our own, 
perhaps chilling, conclusions about our 
society, our economy, our sex roles and our 
work lives from this glimpse of a piece of our 
culture that most of us have never seen in 
person, much as we ultimately depend upon 
it. 

INUIT 'EDGE OF NIGHT ADDICTS 

The logical next step beyond Americans 
making anthropological films about 
Americans is anthropological filmmakers 
giving people in Third World cultures the 
means to document themselves. (This would 
also seem to be the most constructive answer 
to the "colonialism" objection to the genre.) 
Peter Raymont is a Canadian independent 
who has been doing just that. As executive 
producer for the Arctic Regional Unit of the 
National Film Board of Canada, Raymont 
trained a group of Inuit ("Eskimos") in the 
use of video and 8mm film. He later returned 
to document the struggle of the Inuit pro- 
ducers to set up their own network, In- 
ukshuk. 

Colin Low, an NFBC veteran and long- 
time director of the regional program, who 
accompanied the seven Film Board entries to 
the Margaret Mead Festival, calls the early 
cable TV penetration of remote parts of 
Canada and the current use of satellite 
technology "a mixed curse. If you have hard- 
ware, you have to use it because it's expen- 
sive." Peter Raymont's film, Magic in the 
Sky, vividly contrasts the deterioration of In- 
uit culture in northern settlements that have 
embraced TV with the rich community life of 
those few who have continued to refuse in- 
stallation of a satellite dish. In between are 
the Inukshuk producers, determined to offer 
their people a homegrown alternative to 



championship hockey and The Edge of 
Night. In a six-month experiment funded by 
the Canadian government, Inukshuk broad- 
casts vernacular news reports, talk shows and 
cultural programming (including concerts by 
the famed Inuit "throat singers") and utilizes 
cable's interactive capacity to set up a "Pic- 
turephone" service for families and friends 
separated by the long, dark Arctic winter. 

The National Film Board of Canada has 
been a priceless asset to Canadian in- 
dependents since 1939; frequent and lengthy 
lamentation of the absence of any com- 
parable government support for independent 
production in the US has appeared in these 
pages and elsewhere, so I will not belabor the 
point. But how do you break into indepen- 
dent anthropological filmmaking without an 
NFBC behind you, or a stint with a suc- 
cessful bluegrass band? Funding problems 
are essentially the same as with other types of 
documentaries; the people I talked to at the 
Mead Festival all emphasized the need for a 
deep personal enthusiasm for the subject 
matter (certainly a prerequisite for self- 
funding!). Malcolm Arth says that the meat 
and potatoes of financing still comes from 
arts and especially humanities councils, both 
national and regional. If you can't afford 
travel to foreign climes, pick a local subject 
and seek funding from regional sources. 
Don't overlook businesses, fraternal 
organizations, even interested individuals. 

Even if your chosen subject isn't well 
documented in anthropological literature, 
there are plenty of sources for help with 
research. If you're not a social scientist 
yourself, consider retaining an anthropo- 
logical consultant. Many museums offer ar- 
chival sources as well as educational pro- 
grams. The American Museum of Natural 
History, for instance, supplied John Cohen 
with footage shot in South America by the 
late Dr. Junius Bird in 1946, for use in Peru- 
vian Weaving; they also have a fabulous col- 
lection of stills that they make available at 
minimal cost. 

The distribution picture lets us end this ex- 
ploration on a positive note: a healthy educa- 
tional market exists for this type of product. 
The National Anthropological Film Center at 
the Smithsonian Institution buys almost 
everything, and even PBS may be receptive 
(but beware of their re-editing!). A number 
of distributors specialize in anthropological 
subjects, including Documentary Educa- 
tional Resources, Filmakers Library, Icarus 
Films and the New York University Film 
Library. It helps to get reviewed in an- 
thropological and sociological journals, 
notably The American Anthropologist. Be- 
ing selected for the Margaret Mead Film 
Festival doesn't hurt either. If you still have 
doubts about whether this is an appropriate 
showcase for your work, consider Malcolm 
Arth's criterion: all are invited to submit for 
consideration descriptions of films or tapes 
"about real people in real situations, in any 
part of the world." Broad enough? ■ 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



AIVF FORUM 



Shortage Looms: Threat 
To Major Mini Market 



KITTY MORGAN 

I wish to enlist all readers of The Inde- 
pendent in an urgent letter-writing campaign 
to Home Box Office (HBO) in support of in- 
dependent film and video. Independent 
Cinema Artists & Producers (ICAP) has been 
distributing indie work to cable TV since 
1975, and in particular we have pioneered the 
placement of shorts on HBO and other major 
pay services. But recent industry devel- 
opments threaten the continued sale of shorts 
to cable, and it's crucial that we respond in 
large numbers. 

The specific incident which concerns me is 
HBO's decision to reduce the number and 
type of shorts they purchase from us. I have 
been informed that they no longer want to 
see films or tapes over ten minutes. This has 
serious implications — not just for works 
longer than ten minutes, but as indication of 
HBO's intentions. 

HBO has been a major outlet for indepen- 
dently produced shorts of less than 30 
minutes, which are used in the breaks be- 
tween feature films. Many people have found 
these to be the most innovative and appealing 
work on HBO. Unfortunately, HBO does not 
list these shorts in their guide, although we 
have tried for years to convince them to do 
so. Their research has shown that most 
viewers buy the service for the features, 
sports and other specials. Since they do no 
ratings on the shorts, their only feedback is 
from letters and telephone calls. So letters 
can have a great impact on what happens 
now. They have recently reevaluated their use 





\ 

\ 


ill 


i i' / 


& 


\^ 


M 




ifity 


x\ /, 




33=: 




% 




= =^1 


~,Z 


^^~ — ~ 


-==^~ 





of shorts and discovered that those under ten 
minutes are used most frequently. As breaks 
between features are increasingly used for on- 
air promotion (there are no commercials on 
HBO), spaces for the shorts seem to be get- 
ting shorter and possibly fewer. 

I am alarmed by this development. Ob- 
viously, there are a number of excellent 
longer shorts; in fact, the ICAP short which 
has received the most enthusiastic audience 
response is a 20-minute documentary! Every 
time it has been shown, HBO and ICAP have 
both been bombarded by requests to see it 
again and even to buy the film. 

I am sympathetic to the needs of the HBO 
Intermissions Department, which has been 
extremely supportive of ICAP and indepen- 
dent work for years. It was, in fact, with 
HBO's encouragement that we founded 
ICAP. I wish to make it clear that the Inter- 
missions Department is fighting for the 
shorts — it's the higher levels of management 
who are making the decisions to cut back. 
Our advocates at HBO refer to shorts by the 
more dignified term "intermissions" pro- 
gramming, rather than the derogatory 
"filler." 

HBO, the largest buyer of intermissions 
material, has been using 350-400 shorts a 
year, and many of them come from indies. 
Recently, however, record companies have 
been providing more and more music clips 
free of charge to the cable services. Some 
other services including Showtime and The 
Movie Channel produce their own shorts, 
such as behind-the-scenes glimpses of 
Hollywood and disco exercise interludes. 

In the September 18 issue of TV Guide, 
one programmer from Wometco Home 
Theater (WHT) claims the audience doesn't 
like offbeat independent works. "I'd say 
they're tolerated," he commented. Represen- 
tatives from Showtime and HBO are likewise 
quoted as having doubts about the merits of 
shorts. 

We must respond to these claims. I'd like 
to urge everyone to write to the pay cable ser- 
vices, particularly HBO, and show our sup- 
port for independent work. (On a broader 
level, of course, we should refer to indepe- 
dent works of all lengths; but the present 
threat is to shorts on cable services.) In your 
letter you might refer to actual titles you've 



CRITICAL 
ARTS 




CRITICAL ARTS is the only journal in South Africa devoted 
entirely to the study of the relations between the media (in the 
widest sense) and society at large. Areas of interest include 
Television. Film, Radio, the Performing Arts. Theatre. Music, the 
Press, and informal media channels. 

CRITICAL ARTS aims to challenge the existing social structure 
and social relations which govern the status quo orientation of 
South Africa's media institutions. 



Subscriptions: 

R3.50 (local) and $8.00 
(overseas) lor 4 Issues. 
Single- issues ore 
available at 90< eat h. 



Volume One: 

No 1: South African Cinema (Available) 

No 2: Censorship in South Africa (Available) 
No 3: Drama and Theatre in South Africa 

(Available) 
No 4: Visual Anthropology (Available) 

Volume Two: 

No 1: Performance in South Africa (Available) ISBN 85494 686 1 
No 2: Press & Broadcasting in Africa 

(Available) 
No 3: Mass Media & Popular Culture 

(In Preparation) 
Monograph No 1: Breaker Morant'(Available) 

A Journal for Media Studies 

Write to: CRITICAL ARTS, c/o Dept of lournalism and Media Studies 
Rhodes University, P O Box 94. Grahamstown 6140, South Africa 



whmy $20 

mote for J hour 
3/4''editing? / 'editor 

• NEW JVC SYSTEM— HIGH SPEED 
PICTURE SEARCH, FRAME BY FRAME 
EDIT PT. SHIFT, SPLIT INSERT EDITS, 
FMDUB 

• HIGH RESOLUTION CHARACTER 
GENERATOR— FULL BORDER, DROP 
SHADOW, ROLL, CRAWL, 16 PAGE 
MEMORY 

• PROC AMP— FADES, COLOR COR- 
RECTION 

• B&W & COLOR GRAPHIC 
CAMERAS— KEYER, COLORIZER 

• AUDIO MIXER, TURN, MICS, ETC. 

• COMFORTABLE LARGE EDITING 
SUITE, VILLAGE LOCATION 




UARK 
VIDEO 



212 • 533 •2056 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



IS 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PRINCIPLES & RESOLUTIONS 
OF THE ASSOCIATION 



AIVF FOUNDING PRINCIPLES 

1. The Association is a service organi- 
zation of and for independent video 
and filmmakers. 

2. The Association encourages excel- 
lence, commitment and independence; 
it stands for the principle that video and 
filmmaking is more than just a job — 
that it goes beyond economics to in- 
volve the expression of broad human 
values. 

3. The Association works, through the 
combined effort of the membership, to 
provide practical, informational and 
moral support for independent video 
and filmmakers and is dedicated to en- 
suring the survival and providing sup- 
port for the continuing growth of in- 
dependent video and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its 
support to one genre, ideology or 
aesthetic, but furthers diversity of vi- 
sion in artistic and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions indepen- 
dent video and film as valuable and 
vital expressions of our culture and is 
determined, by mutual action, to open 
pathways toward exhibition of this 
work to the community at large. 



AIVF RESOLUTIONS 

1. To affirm the creative use of media 
in fostering cooperation, community & 
justice in human relationships without 
respect to age, sex, race, class or 
religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the 
freedom of expression of the indepen- 
dent film and videomaker, as spelled 
out in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue 
and heightened awareness among the 
membership of the social, artistic and 
personal choices involved in the pursuit 
of both independent and sponsored 
work, via such mechanisms as screen- 
ings and forums. 

4. To continue to work to strengthen 
AIVFs services to independents, in 
order to help reduce the membership's 
dependence on the kinds of sponsorship 
which encourage the compromise of 
personal values. 



seen and how much you like their energy, 
style or unusual viewpoints. If you really 
want to go all the way you might even suggest 
that the wild and wacky shorts are the only 
reason you subscribe to HBO! 

The letters that carry the most weight for 
HBO are those from their subscribers, so 
comments from you as consumer rather than 
artist are most helpful. Obviously, none of 
the pay services want to give anyone an ex- 
cuse to disconnect. It's worthwhile noting 
that last month, when a curtailed budget 
loomed at Bravo, letters from subscribers 
were effective in saving shorts on that service. 

Even if you don't receive HBO, you can 
still, as a potential subscriber, write a general 
letter to the cable operator indicating your in- 
terest in shorts. In case you don't remember 
what has been on HBO recently, some recent 



ICAP titles shown there include Brake Free, 
Colossus on the River, and Hey! Hey! We're 
Giving It Away (the latter two are documen- 
taries longer than ten minutes). 

Below are names and addresses of some 
specific cable services which presently use 
shorts. Please write as soon as possible. 

• HBO/Cinemax 
Intermissions Dept. 

1271 Ave. of the Americas 
New York, NY 10020 

• Showtime Entertainment Network 
1633 Broadway 

New York NY 10019 

• Wometco Home Theatre 
150 East 58 St. 

New York, NY 10155 



The FIVE and AIVF Boards met on 
November 1, 1982. A summary of the 
minutes follows. Full minutes are 
available on request. 
• 
FCC RULES 

Sam Cooper III, former FCC counsel 
and currently an independent producer 
and consultant to CBS Inc., sought the 
AIVF Board's support for current ef- 
forts to repeal the FCC's financial in- 
terest and syndication rules, arguing that 
the rules have inhibited rather than pro- 
moted diversity in network programm- 
ing. The Board took no action, but 
agreed to look into the matter. 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 'S REPORT 

1. The Independent — The New York 
State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in- 
creased its support for The Independent 
sufficiently to enable FIVF to give 
Editor Kathleen Hulser a full-time staff 
position. Hulser expects to increase the 
magazine to 32 pages starting with the 
winter double issue. 

2. FIVF has begun informal talks with 
WNYC/TV (New York City's other 
public television station) about a cable 
showcase for independent work on one 
of the municipal channels. 

FESTIVAL BUREAU REPORT 

1. Bureau chief Wendy Lidell reported 
on her successful recent trip to Spain's 
Valladolid Festival to accompany a pro- 
gram of US independent work which the 
Bureau helped to assemble. In addition, 
the Spanish Federation of Cine Clubs is 
working with the Bureau to circulate the 
package on Spain's non-theatrical cir- 
cuit. 

2. FIVF and the Independent Feature 
Project have begun discussing the 
possibility of co-sponsoring next fall's 



market so as to include shorts and doc- 
umentaries as well as features. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS 

1. FIVF Development Committee re- 
ported on the many acceptances to 
FIVF's new Advisory Board. 

2. AIVF Advocacy Committee reported 
that it recently submitted to the CPB 
Board a discussion of the policy implica- 
tions of CPB's increasing reliance on 
station consortia to fund national public 
TV programs. The CPB Board is due to 
take up the subject at its meeting on 
Nov. 4. 

3. AIVF Membership Committee 
reported on its continued research into 
the chapter question and general efforts 
to expand national membership. 

4. FIVF Program Committee selected 
tentative schedule of winter programs 
including workshops on using archival 
footage, tax considerations for in- 
dependents, working with composers, 
works-in-progress screenings and a panel 
discussion on video art and social 
change. 

5. FIVF Executive Committee approved 
budget and new personnel regulations, 
subject to staff comments. 

6. Ad Hoc Third World Committee 
discussed implementation of last 
meeting's proposals, including hiring of 
a consultant to review and critique Third 
World film/videomakers' grant pro- 
posals. 



AIVF and FIVF Board meetings are 
generally held at 7:30 on the first Mon- 
day of every other month. The next 
meeting, however, is on January 10, 
1983. Meetings are open to the public. 
AIVF members are encouraged to attend 
and share their views with the Board. 
For more information, call AIVF at 
(212) 473-3400. ■ 



16 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



• The Entertainment Channel 

1133 Ave. of the Americas, 7th floor 
New York, NY 10036 

• Spotlight 

2951 28th St., Suite 2000 
Santa Monica, CA 90405 

• Bravo 

Rainbow Programming 
100 Crossways Park West 
"Woodbury, NY 11797 



Richter Addresses 
PTV Officials 

Robert Richter, independent producer and 
president of the A IFF Board of Directors 
spoke on a panel entitled "PBS: Gatekeeper 
or Watchdog?" during the November PBS 
Program Fair in Washington, DC. The panel 
dealt with issues of controversial program- 
ming, independent access and PBS' respon- 
sibility to stations. Among the others on the 
panel were David Fanning, executive pro- 
ducer of the new PBS Frontline documentary 
series, David Loxton, executive producer of 
Non-Fiction Television; and Barry Chase, 
PBS director of Public Affairs programs. 

For independent producers there often 
seems to be an enormous bureaucratic 
superstructure in public television. When it 
comes to airing controversial-issue programs, 
it seems that superstructure comes into play 
in ways that often appear to independent 
producers of such progams to be obstruc- 
tions to reasonable access to public televi- 
sion. 

As a producer of controversial-issue pro- 
grams for public TV — perhaps one of the 
most active — I don't quarrel with PBS' 
responsibility to make sure that what I pro- 
duce meets professional journalistic stand- 
ards. I sometimes have wondered why there 
seem to be, in effect, two executive producers 
involved: one for the series, such as Crisis to 
Crisis, and then one from PBS in the form of 
Public Affairs Program officials. If executive 
producer A for the series deems the program 
suitable for broadcast, but is overrruled by 
executive producer B, who is the PBS gate- 
keeper, the independent producer can be 
caught in the middle. 

I don't believe PBS gatekeepers should 
show my productions to anyone prior to 
broadcast, except for press reviews. By that I 
mean if there is a question about my facts, or 
concern about my approach, then it is up to 
PBS to make me prove I'm right — either 
through the series executive producer (if 
there is a series involved) or by dealing with 
me directly. But it is not up to PBS to show 
my production to someone in or out of gov- 
ernment to get their slant or reactions before 
telecast. 

"PBS as gatekeeper" is understood by in- 
dependents. But many indies are increasingly 
concerned that there is a new gatekeeper 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



within the public television system that is 
harder to detect and understand. 

The new gatekeeper may be superseding 
the PBS gatekeeping role by building a struc- 
ture that changes the way independent pro- 
ducers of controversial programs can have 
fair access to public television, and creates 
even more obstacles for them. [Remarks on 
the Frontline series omitted — see article pp 
10 — Ed.] This is not only a potential prob- 
lem for us independents, but it also can be 
for you and your public. 

For the independent, and perhaps even 
more for the public in general, there are 
many who believe public television should 
ber in the vanguard and not "play catch-up" 
with commercial networks and stations. 
Public television, they believe, should be dar- 
ing, innovative, experimental, at times un- 
conventional and even unreasonable. It 
should take chances that commercial outlets 
won't. It should find room for and directly 
fund quality programs, even if they don't fit 
a preconceived series package idea. Public 
television doesn't always need an executive 
producer with final editorial control of a pro- 
gram before it gets to PBS and its gate- 
keepers. 

Public television should define the 
medium, and not feel it must be defined by 
other prof it -oriented television. You can 
claim the current political or economic cli- 
mate is wrong for all this. A case can usually 
be made for staying where you are, or doing 
nothing, or going backward to a safer 
posture. But I challenge public television to 
fulfill its mission. I challenge public televi- 
sion to do this in a way that allows it to sur- 
vive, while simultaneously providing a heal- 
thy and more accessible forum, a forum it 
should provide for controversial-issue pro- 
grams that explore the meaningful and sen- 
sitive problems of our time — Robert Richter 

NEH Media in Jeopardy 

The National Endowment for the Human- 
ities (NEH) recently transferred $3 million of 
its $8.4 million Media Programs budget for 
fiscal year 1982 into NEH research projects. 
Approximately half of that amount went to 
fund PTV programming for children. 
According to a fall issue of Current, NEH 
Chair William Bennett justified the transfer 
on the basis of a decline in the number of 
proposals received, an unexpected increase in 
the Endowment's appropriation in late FY 
1982, and the weakness of those proposals 
submitted in a special grant round held last 
summer to distribute the extra cash. 

The credibility of these explanations is 
undercut by the alarming fact that NEH has 
already submitted to Congress proposed FY 
1983 budgets which call for a severe cut in the 
NEH division that includes Media Programs. 
There is also speculation in Washington that 
NEH may attempt to restructure divisions in 
such a way as to eliminate Media as a 
separate subdivision entirely. 



£- 


IKEGAMI ITC 730 


o 


3/4" package 


t) 


$600 day 


3 


PANASONIC 3800 


°2 

1 1 1 Q- 


Beta 1 package 
$50 hr 




BETA OFF-LINE 
Editing $15 hr 



INTELLIGENT 
REALISTIC 
PRODUCTION 
SERVICES 



174 SPRING ST 

NYC, NY 10012 

(212) 966-2971 



COMPLETE 

VIDEO 

SERVICES 



PRODUCTION PACKAGE 

NEW JVC 1900 CAMERA W/ JVC 4400 

RECORDER, SENNHEISER & TRAM, 

MICROPHONES, L0WEL-D LIGHTS 

MILLER TRIPOD W/ TECHNICIAN 



POST-PRODUCTION 

JVC %" & NEW VHS TAPE HANDLER, W/ 

CHARACTER GENERATOR, GRAPHICS CAMERA, 

C0L0RIZER/KEYER, PR0C AMP, 6 CHANNEL 

STEREO MIXER W/ GRAPHIC EQUALIZER 



TECHNICAL CONSULTATION & 

COORDINATION OF ALL PRODUCTION 

& POST-PRODUCTION NEEDS. 

HOUGH-CUT 

VIDEO SERVICES 

212-242-1914 



17 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Humanities funds, federal and state, have 
been essential to the development and growth 
of independent film and video in this coun- 
try. In a letter of protest to Bennett, AIVF 
has charged that the decision to reprogram a 
major portion of the NEH's Media Pro- 
grams' 1982 budget "appears to reflect the 
intention to deemphasize media as an expres- 
sion of humanities, and to restrict the ex- 
ploration of current social and political 
issues as they relate to the humanities." 

Any decrease in allocations for Media Pro- 
grams for FY 1983 must — like the transfer of 
1982 funds — be cleared by House and Senate 
appropriations subcommittees. The transfer 
of '82 funds was reluctantly approved, 
because failure to do so would have required 
that the monies be returned to the Treasury 
unspent. But Congress can draw the line on 
any future cuts in, or restructuring of, the 
Media Programs. Write or phone Rep. 
Sidney Yates (D-IL), Chair of the House In- 
terior Appropriations Subcommittee, 2234 
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington 
DC 20515, (202) 225-2111; and Sen. James 
McClure (R-ID), Chair of the Senate Interior 
Appropriations Subcommittee, 3121 Dirksen 
Senate Office Building, Washington DC 
205 10, (202) 224-2752. —Lawrence Sapadin 



FESTIVALS 



HAVEN'T YOU JOINED YET? 

AIVF membership brings you services, 

health insurance, 10 issues of The Independent, 

and a voice in Washington. $25/year. 

AIVF, 625 Broadway, NYC NY 10012. (212) 473-3400 




VIDEO 

GUIDE 



VIDEO 



Q{/)< O 
<C-5LU Z 

<ZcCU- 
O • lii 

oooo 

ooo z 

OOjo — 




Houston: The 
Movable Festival 



LULU LOPEZ 

After receiving complaints about high en- 
try fees and unpaid prize money, the Festival 
Bureau took a closer look at the Houston In- 
ternational Film Festival. Upon discovering 
that said festival had previously relocated 
from Miami, and the Virgin Islands before 
that, and Atlanta before that, we decided it 
called for investigation. While correspondent 
Lulu Lopez concludes that "the Festival 
functions more or less as a film festival 
should, " there 's a persistent suspicious aura 
around this one that may be a simple ques- 
tion of style and priorities. At the moment, 
we can 't recommend it to independents, but 
we'll be watching it, and we invite comments 
of other producers who have been involved 
with Houston. 

For approximately fourteen years, J. Hun- 
ter Todd and his crew have been running film 
festivals, covering such lucrative territories as 
Atlanta, the Virgin Islands, Miami and now, 
boomtown Houston. Having again encoun- 
tered a suitable home, the 16th Annual 
Festival of the Americas (subtitled the 
Houston International Film Festival) will 
celebrate its fifth festival there in four years. 

Memories of the those first years in Atlan- 
ta are wistfully recalled by Rikki Kipple, a 
Dyan Cannon-esque woman who is Hunter's 
right hand. She was with him and the festival 
from the beginning, she says, and seven years 
in Atlanta provided a very good set-up for 
them, including a 2000-seat auditorium. But 
Todd received the offer he couldn't refuse: a 
full-time position directing a film festival in 
the Virgin Islands. The festival in Atlanta 
was merely a sideline to their film company, 
something they took time out to do, just as 
they currently do in Houston. This was an 
opportunity at the big time. 

The government of the Virgin Islands was 
seeking a "focal identity," a film festival to 
act as a tourist attraction. Kipple says they all 
loved the Islands, but apparently they en- 
countered too many difficulties trying to run 
a big festival in such an out-of-the-way loca- 
tion. At that point, Kipple says, they came to 
Houston: "We became legitimate again." 

Unfortunately, Kipple must have a bad 
memory regarding Florida, because she did 
not -mention the two years they spent there 
before the move to Houston. I later asked 
Todd what happened in Miami, since a local 
Houston newspaper had printed Todd had 
"come to town with a reputation with a few 
blemishes on it," mentioned a "really serious 
falling out with Miami officials about fi- 
nances of the city-supported festival," and 



IB 



quoted Todd as saying they had run into 
"some alienation and negativism when we 
first arrived" in Houston as a result. 

Pooh-poohing the newspaper's accuracy, 
Todd recounted the "Miami Beach vs. Miami 
Proper" story. It seems that Miami proper 
saw Hunter as a "hired gun" (Todd's words) 
brought in by Miami Beach to run a festival 
that had already been planned by certain 
Miami interests who were not too happy 
about seeing an outsider given control of 
their festival. The ensuing vendetta was 
mainly executed by a well-loved but con- 
troversial journalist of the Miami Herald. 
Though Todd was not very specific as to 
what actual trouble was the cause of it, he did 
say that the Board of Directors of that Miami 
Film Festival had to "make up the money" 
that had been misplaced, and that they were 
solely responsible and accepted the respon- 
sibility. Todd was merely hired by them as a 
full-time employee; he later left town. 

According to Todd, who set up anew in 
Houston with Cinema America, Inc., his 
production company was not only unwel- 
comed by the competing film companies 
established in the area, but it also trod on the 
toes of Houstonians planning their own film 
festival by announcing that the 12th Annual 
Festival of the Americas was moving in and 
opening shop. 

The Houston International Film Festival 
operates a few months a year, and runs at a 
financial loss. Cumulative deficits of the 
festival's three years in Houston have come 
to around $80,000, an amount covered by 
Todd's sponsored and industrial filmmaking 
business. This year, the event received a 
$5,000 grant from the Cultural Arts Council 
of Houston, which "certainly gives us more 
credibility," as Kipple says, though this is 
just a drop in the "somewhat under 
$100,000" budget needed to run each 
festival. 

Participation in this festival is growing 
each year. There are three types of entries: 
submitted, official (from foreign countries) 
and invited. From these, three films, video- 
tapes or screenplays are selected in each 
category as "winners"; whether they are 
Gold, Silver or Bronze awards is not speci- 
fically announced until the Awards Banquet. 
There are no monetary prizes offered, only 
these "prestige" awards. Judging is done by 
a group of advertising executives, film techni- 
cians, educators and others, who use a ten- 
point selection process. 

There has been grumbling that entry fees 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



are a bit hefty for the amount of publicity 
given, and Todd laughingly told me of a stu- 
dent who had approached him angrily this 
year, saying he felt he had "bought" his 
award with the $35 meal ticket necessary to 
attend the awards banquet. It is true that no 
one else gets wined and dined gratis like the 
"invited" feature films and their retinues, 
whose shipping charges and plane tickets are 
paid for by the festival. However, there are 
many more satisfied filmmakers and au- 
diences who appreciate the festival and its ef- 
forts. 

One of the happy customers is Roy 
Frumkes, a New York filmmaker whose Gold 
Prize at the 13th Film Festival for Document 
of the Dead brought him back for the 1 5th 
Festival, where he has again won a Gold 
Prize for Burt 's Bikers. Frumkes is a festival 
veteran who knows how to get his money's 
worth out of any promotional possibilities 
the festival may offer. Once the three top 
winners were announced in his category, 
Frumkes traveled to Houston, volunteered to 
conduct a seminar on Financing, Producing 
and Directing Low-Budget Films, contacted 
local groups which might have an interest in 
the film {Burt's Bikers deals with mentally 
handicapped children), went on local 
Pacifica Radio to promote it and made as 
many contacts as he could. He even made 
some contacts with backers for his current 
work-in-progress. Others might not be able 




Roy Frumkes' 'Burt's Bikers' (I), concerning a unique rehab bike program for retarded youth, won 
an award at Houston. So did Mark Block & Bart Weiss' 'The Jocelyn Shrager Story' in 1980— but 
the $1000 John Peckham Memorial Prize was never paid to the filmmakers. 



to take as good advantage of the situation. 
There were 130 student entries last year from 
all over the country, and the fact is not many 
students can afford a few hundred dollars' 
worth of plane fare, lodging and festival 
tickets (no, they do not even get in free). If 
they are naive enough to believe they are go- 
ing to get a monetary prize out of it, they 
may show up and be as disappointed as the 
fellow who complained to Todd. When the 



glitter of prizes and prestige does not blind a 
winner, s/he can stay home and wait for the 
prize and chalk it up on his/her resume. 
Frumkes will take his prize and include it in 
his promotional material, hoping it will 
enhance the marketablity of his film. 

The festival also handles promotional ac- 
tivities, such as publication of a winners' list 
in Variety, and acts as liaison between winner 
and purchaser, backer or the like. In effect, 



FOR FILM TO TAPE WITHOUT 

TUK H^M ItffvBf 10V To cope with today's video needs, 

■ f Hi V IHIIV W0m ^mw need more than state of the art equipment. 

You need state of the art service. Unitel gives you both. 

So whether it's a commercial or a documentary, 35mm, 16mm or slides, we can 

transfer it just the way you want it. Even unsupervised. Call Phil McEneny, Garth 

Gentilin or Jack Beebe for everything you need to uncomplicate your video life. 

Because at Unitel, we believe that a video complex 

shouldn't give you a complex about video. 



YOU NEED A 
VIDEO COMPLEX 

Unifelvideo'^ 

The Uncomplicated Complex 



Unitel Video, Inc., 510 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 (212) 265-3600 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



19 



THE INDEPENDENT 



the festival functions more or less as a film 
festival should. 

The festival is administered as a small-time 
operation, yet has a glamorous veneer that 
smacks of Hollywood and money and every- 
thing that makes a hit in a city like Houston. 
The featured "invited" and "official" 
foreign entries are the only films that are well 
publicized; last year they included Diva 
(French), Siberiade (a mammoth Russian 
film) and Three Brothers (Italian) — the kind 
of films that are rarely shown locally. These 
shows were very well-attended, and ticket 
sales last year were up 30%. 

I asked Todd if he felt that the festival 
should expand its efforts and grow into the 
big operation he told me had existed 
previously in Miami. He makes no bones 
about the fact that he would like to do it real- 
ly big — and expensive. He holds no bitterness 
about his Miami days, and, yes, he would like 
it to be that kind of heavily backed festival. 
But, he says, there is no solution but "raising 
ticket prices" if it's to get any larger. We will 
have to wait until next year to see what 
develops. 

Lulu Lopez is based in Houston and writes 
about film and the fine arts. 
• 

There's something for everyone this 
month, though American independent fes- 
tivals clearly dominate the selection. The 
USA Festival in Dallas, though leaning 
somewhat toward Hollywood, is looking for 
both features and shorts, while events in 
Atlanta, Georgia and Athens, Ohio can pro- 
vide a niche for almost any genre of indie 
film and video. If you have something more 
avant-garde, you might try the Ann Arbor or 
San Francisco Art Institute competitions; 
and if you prefer to tap the educational 
market, try the National Educational Film 
Festival in California. 

Ecology-minded films may find their most 
appreciative audiences at Ekofilm Interna- 
tional in Czechoslovakia, or closer to home 
at festivals sponsored by the Audubon Socie- 
ty and the North American Wildlife Society. 
Feature producers should look at Karlovy 
Vary, Melbourne and Cannes, and shorts will 
find a premium showcase in Oberhausen, 
Germany. Finally, a major animation event 
in Annecy, France. 

USA: No News Is Good News 

The USA Film Festival, under the new and 
aggressive direction of Sam Grogg, has the 
distinction of being one of the best-pub- 
licized film festivals in the country. More 
press releases emanate from Grogg 's Dallas 
office in one day than anyone could read in a 
week; but in a business like festivals, where 
publicity's the whole point, I read this as a 
very good sign. 

One reason for all this activity may be that 
the Festival is currently expanding to an all- 
year-round format, sponsoring local film 
premieres, and recently the first World Drive- 
in Film Festival. They will alsc separate the 
20 



short film competition from the feature film 
festival, starting in 1983. 

The short film competition will take place 
first, on March 25-27. Four cash prizes ran- 
ging from $250-5750 will be awarded to win- 
ners selected from 6 to 8 hours of films pre- 
selected for public screenings. From the look 
of past catalogues, the emphasis is on pro- 
duction values rather than innovation. The 
program is then shown over ON-TV, a na- 
tional over-the-air pay network, for a ne- 
gotiated license fee. Entries in 16 and 35mm 
up to 50 min. must be submitted by February 
15 with a small entry fee. 



GROUP SHIPMENTS 

If three or more filmlvideomakers plan 

to enter the same foreign festival, 

FIVF can arrange a group shipment, 

thereby saving you money! What you 

must do is drop us a note telling us 

what 'festival you are planning to enter, 

and if we get enough interest in one, 

we will call you. 



The Feature Film Festival will be held 
April 29-May 7. According to the catalogue, 
they always attempt a 50/50 mix of indepen- 
dent and studio films. Past independent 
features have included Diner, Eating Raoul 
and Americana. Selections are usually made 
by a panel of film critics, who in the past 
have included Roger Ebert, Judith Crist, 
Peter Biskind, Arthur Knight and Charles 
Champlin, each of whom selects two films to 
be screened. Grogg is not satisfied with this 
procedure but hasn't developed an alter- 
native yet. He expects to be selecting films 
with the advice of Frank Perry and Peter 
Bogdanovich. He said he would show five in- 
dependent films that are local or national 
premieres. Enter by April 1. Contact: Sam 
Grogg, USA FF, 3000 Carlisle Plaza, ste. 
205, Dallas TX 75204, (214) 760-8575. 

Atlanta— Pix In Dixie 

The first thing I noticed about the Atlanta 
Independent Film & Video Festival was the 
consistently high quality of its juries. Com- 
posed over the last three years of critics and 
programmers such as Larry Kardish, John 
Hanhardt and Karen Cooper, and film and 
videomakers such as Mark Rappaport, Juan 
Downey, Willard Van Dyke and Suzann Pitt, 
the juries seemed designed to foster apprecia- 
tion of all styles and genres. Two members of 
the 1983 jury have already been selected: Bar- 
bara London, video curator at the Museum 
of Modern Art, and Jim Hickey, director of 
the Edinburgh International Film Festival. 

The Atlanta Festival is sponsored by IM- 
AGE Film/Video Center in association with 
the High Museum of Art. According to fes- 
tival director Linda Dubler, the aims of the 
festival are to develop an audience for in- 
dependent film and video in the Southeast 
region and expose the work of emerging 
media artists. To accomplish this, a feature 
film is screened at the 450-seat auditorium at 
the High Museum on opening night, while 
the rest of the week is reserved for screening 



shorter works in film and video. Opening 
night features in past years have included 
Clarence and Angel by Bob Gardner, The 
War at Home by Silber and Brown and 
Soldier Girls by Broomfield and Churchill. 

The judges look at all submitted work and 
program six nights of what Dubler calls 
"winners." Only a few of these, however, 
win cash awards, which total about $4-5,000. 
IMAGE also packages a touring show from 
the "winners" and pays royalties to par- 
ticipating producers under a non-exclusive 
distribution agreement. 

Over the last six years, southern indies 
have periodically raised a fuss over their lack 
of access to the audience gathered for the 
festival, in cases where their films or tapes 
were not selected for the program. Pointing 
out that the jury is not generally composed of 
local people, the producers have lamented 
the lost opportunity to present regional work 
to a large, enthusiastic audience. This year, 
according to IMAGE Board member and 
former festival director Gayla Jamison, these 
plaints will be addressed through the addition 
of a non-competitive Southern Showcase 
curated by a regional person. 

The 7th Annual festival will take place 
April 12-17. Entries in 16mm, V* " and Vi" 
must be received by February 25 for judging 
during the first week of March. Entry fees 
range from $7-$20. Contact: IMAGE Film/ 
Video Center, 972 Peachtree St., Ste. 213, 
Atlanta GA 30309, (404) 874-4756. — WL 

Athens International— The 
Academic Sensibility 

If the idea of over 500 works screened in 
fourteen competitive categories over nine 
days frightens you, then stay away from what 
filmmaker Amalie Rothschild characterized 
as "probably the best independent film 
festival" in the country. Publicity director 
Renee Glenn says that "one reason people 
enjoy coming to Athens is the laid-back, 
easy-going atmosphere," but with fifteen 
features screened out of competition, 
retrospectives of works by Nicholas Ray, 
Manny Kirchheimer and Bill Viola, 
workshops and seminars over three days, and 
500 competition screenings, "laid-back" 
seems an unlikely adjective. 

But that was 1982. 1983 may be a little 
smaller, since the video section will be moved 
into its own festival in October 1983. 1982's 
theme was Art, Technology and the Moving 
Image, and featured workshops in Com- 
munity Access, Educational Applications 
and New Avenues in Distribution. 1983's 
theme will be the 10th Anniversary Celebra- 
tion, and it will feature award-winning films 
from the last ten years. 

The annual competition will be held this 
year, awarding some cash and equipment 
awards in five major categories: animation, 
documentary, experimental, feature and 
short story (narratives between 5 and 30 
minutes). Entries are pre-screened, according 
to Glenn; and depending on the number of 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 19B3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



entries received in a given category, between 
50 and 100% of those submitted will be 
shown. The judges then look at the pieces in 
their assigned category and make selections. 
Last year's judges included Manny Kirch- 
heimer, Jessie Maple, Michelle Citron and 
Charles Samu. 

Kirchheimer felt it was one of the "best 
judging situations he'd ever experienced, 
since there was objectivity and no politic- 
king. The judges were even allowed to make 
up a new prize category for a film they felt 
straddled two categories: White Lies by 
Marion Cajori. Originally placed in the short 
story category, Cajori took first prize for 
"experimental narrative." 

Festival director Giulio Scalinger says they 
always try to invite at least one film pro- 
grammer to be a judge, and other program- 
mers to be in attendance. However, about 
75-80% of their audience, he estimates, is 
from the local college and surrounding com- 
munity. 

The Athens International Film Festival will 
take place from Apr. 22 to 30. Entry fees 
range from $15-$60, and although it's prob- 
ably not a place to sell your film, it's certainly 
a good place to share it with people who love 
film and lots of it. Enter by Feb. 14. Contact: 
Giulio Scalinger, Dir., AIFF, Athens Center 
for Film & Video, PO Box 388, Athens OH 
45701, (614) 594-6888. We'll bring you more 
on the video festival later this year. 




A scene from Bill Viola's 'Hatsu-Yume' 
(First Dream), included in the retro at Athens 



CINE 

The Council on International Non- 
Theatrical Events (CINE) biannual competi- 
tion awards Golden Eagles to "professional" 
films and CINE Eagles to "amateur" ones. 
They promise to enter your film in those 
foreign festivals "in which your film has the 
best chance of receiving recognition." This 
determination is made by CINE "in accor- 
dance with its accrued experience of the types 
of films each festival wants." The producer, 
however, retains the final authorization for a 
foreign entry and must pay $35 to cover the 
cost of submission. 



While some independents have reported 
good results working through CINE, it 
should be noted that they have a strong bias 
toward sponsored films. Producers, they say, 
include "educational and industrial organiza- 
tions, professional producers, governmental 
agencies and amateurs." CINE then "selects 
and submits. . .those films most suitable to 
represent the United States film industry in 
international competitions." To be blunt, 
controversial or aesthetically or politically 
radical films don't stand a chance. They 
reportedly have a poor track record with the 
more important European festivals. They say 
that "shorter films are preferred by most 
festival organizations," but this has hardly 
been the experience of the Festival Bureau. 

For all this, you pay entry fees ranging 
from $55 to $110 depending on length, and 
CINE holds your print for one year. Thirty 
regional juries make pre-selections from over 
800 submissions, and approximately 200 
films survive the national judging in 
Washington DC. Submissions may be in 
16mm and 35mm, and deadlines are Feb. 1 
and Aug. 1. Starting in the fall of '82, CINE 
will accept entries originating in video if sub- 
mitted in 3 A ". They warn, however, that 
few foreign festivals are accepting video at 
present. Contact: S.R. Tamhane, Exec. 
Director, CINE, 1201 Sixteenth St. NW, 
Rm. 105, Washington DC 20036, (202) 
785-1136. — WL 




YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 

Member AICP 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (2 1 2) 244-8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 

(213)858-1844 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY ^9B3 



21 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Cannes 

The Cannes International Film Festival, in 
May, is composed of five program 
categories. If you're serious about entering 
Cannes, you should request their excellent 
handbook available from Gillian Slonim at 
the French Film Office/Unifrance USA, 745 
Fifth Ave., NY NY 10151, (212) 832-8860. 
Also see Cannes Can-Do: A Survival Course 
by Joy Pereths (The Independent, Feb. 
1982). In brief: 



The Official Section: 

In Competition — shorts and features less 
than 12 months old, released only in coun- 
try of origin and not entered in any other 
festivals. 

Out-of-Competition — features invited by 
jury. 

A Certain Look — features selected but in- 
eligible for Competition. To enter, con- 
tact: Festival International du Films, 71 
Rue Faubourg Saint Honore, 75008 Paris, 
France by Mar. 1, or contact the Unifrance 
Film Office to find out when director 
Gilles Jacob will be in New York or Los 
Angeles. 

Critics' Week: 
Non-competitive section of seven films 
selected by members of the French Cinema 
Critics Association. They must be 
director's first or second feature, less than 
two years old, and not entered in any ma- 
jor European festival. Enter by Mar. 1. 
Contact: Robert Chaial or Janine Sartre, 
Critics' Week, 73 Rue d'Anjou, 75008 
Paris, France. Jacqueline Lajeunesse, film 
critic at Revue du Cinema, expressed 
special interest in American independent 
features. She can be reached at: 21 Rue des 
Plantes, 75014 Paris, France. 

Directors' Fortnight: 
The Association of French Film Directors 
presents 25 features, documentaries and 
animated films during the festival. Con- 
tact: Pierre-Henri Deleau, Exec. Director, 
Societe des Realisateurs de Films, 215 Rue 
du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, 
France. M. Deleau also travels extensively. 
Contact the Unifrance office for his in- 
tinerary. 

Perspectives on French Cinema: 
French entries only. 

The Film Market: 

Run concurrently with the Festival, the 
Market is administered separately. Your 
film may not have been entered in MIFED 
nor be over one year old. All formats can 
be screened inexpensively. Enter no later 
than early April. Contact: Robert Chabert, 
Film Market at the main festival address. 

As Pereths points out in her article, you must 
22 



be prepared to blow your print up to 35mm, 
subtitle it in French and spend significant 
amounts of money on publicity to make go- 
ing to Cannes worthwhile. 

Melbourne 

Along with Sydney, which overlaps it by 
one week, the June Melbourne event is the 
most important festival in Australia. They 
accept fictional shorts up to 30 minutes, for 
which there is a competition awarding cash 
prizes; there are also official and information 
sections for feature films and documentaries 
up to 60 minutes. They are very receptive to 
American work, and showed over thirty US 
independent films in 1982. According to 
Amalie Rothschild, whose film Conversa- 
tions with Willard Van Dyke was among the 
many films screened at both the Melbourne 
and Sydney Festivals last year, Director 
Geoffrey Gardner saw the film at one of the 
many festivals he attends and invited it. But 
Rothschild reports that Gardner has now re- 
signed, and we don't yet know who his re- 
placement will be, or his or her travel plans. 

Melbourne is reportedly very well run, and 
offers excellent press relations assistance 
headed up by Natalie Miller, who is also with 
Sharmile Films, one of the large theatri- 
cal/non-theatrical distribution companies in 
Australia. Many buyers attend Melbourne 
and they are generally easy to meet. The 
festival provides a number of accommoda- 
tions, including cost-free private screenings, 
to facilitate the transaction of business. 
Melbourne and Sydney share about 30% of 
their films and will sometimes pay travel 
costs for feature filmmakers. There is no en- 
try fee; the festival pays return postage for 
selected entries. Entry deadline: Feb. 28. 
Contact: Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, 53 
Cardigan St., PO Box 357, Carlton South, 
Victoria 3053, Australia. 



IN BRIEF 



This month's additional Festivals have been 
compiled by Amanda M. Ross and Wendy Lidell 
with the help of Gadney's Guides and the FIVF 
files. Listings do not constitute an endorsement, 
and since some details change faster than we do, 
we recommend that you contact the festival for 
further information before sending prints or tapes. 
If your experience with a festival differs from our 
account, please let us know so we can improve our 
reliability. 

Domestic 

• ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL, March, will 
be celebrating its 21st year in 1983. The Film 
Festival Review reported that "this festival was 
held in the large 1,800-seat Michigan Theatre. 
Some of the intimate spirit of the avant-garde 
event gets lost in this huge movie palace, but great 
effort is given to revive the feeling of an unpredic- 
table happening. On several of the concluding 
nights, the organizers succeeded by filling the lob- 
bies and balconies with balloons, organ music and 



costumes." The same report also says that film 
programmers seem to have stopped going to Ann 
Arbor because of the uneven quality of the films 
projected. Karen Cooper of the Film Forum says 
this is true, but adds that it's still a good festival, 
well run, with excellent projection. They're well 
known for having lots of prize money, and there's 
also a touring show which visits about twelve col- 
lege sites, where additional competitions for prize 
money are held. They appear to favor innovative, 
experimental work. Enter by Feb. 26; $125 entry 
fee. Contact: Ruth Bradley, AAFF, PO Box 7283, 
Ann Arbor MI 48107, (313) 663-6494. 

• ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 
FILM FESTIVAL, June. Since 1978, this festival 
has encouraged the exhibition of new films by 
Asian and Asian-American filmmakers, and it has 
grown significantly in recent years. It is presented 
by Asian Cine- Vision in cooperation with the NYU 
School of Cinema Studies and partially supported 
by the National Endowment for the Arts and the 
New York State Council on the Arts. Gauges are 
not specified. Please contact the festival for fur- 
ther information. Deadline: February-March. 
"Contact: Michael Chu or Renee Tajima, Asian 

Cine-Vision, 32 East Broadway, New York NY 
10002; (212) 925-8685. 

• AUBUSSON INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL ON CRAFTWORKS, May. This 
festival gives French audiences the opportunity to 
view films on the subject of crafts from 30 dif- 
ferent countries. Entries may be in Super-8, 16 or 
35mm; videocassettes are accepted. Awards are 
given. Entry fee is not specified. Deadine: March. 
Contact: Genevieve Hureau, 972 Fifth Ave., New 
York NY 100021; (212) 570-4429. 

• AUDUBON SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL 
ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL, May. 
This festival accepts 16mm films on subjects 
relating to nature, wildlife, the effects of pollution 
and other conservation topics. An average of 150 
films have been entered in previous festivals. Entry 
fee: $40. Deadline: Mar. 15. Contact: Carol 
Taylor, Audubon Society, 950 Third Ave., New 
York NY 10022. 

• BALTIMORE INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL/INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS' 
COMPETITION, April. The aim of this festival is 
to celebrate and promote independent films. It is 
sponsored by the Baltimore Film Forum and sup- 
ported by the National Endowment for the Arts, 
the Maryland State Art Council and the city of 
Baltimore. Entries must be in 16mm and must 
have been completed in the 27 months prior to en- 
try. Categories include: animation, documentary, 
dramatic and experimental. Awards are given. En- 
try fee: $10 for films under 20 minutes, $15 for 
films over 20 minutes. Festival pays return postage 
in the US only. Deadlines: entry forms, Feb. 7; 
films, Feb. 21. Contact: Baltimore Film Forum, 
Kenneth F. Moore, Coordinator, 516 North 
Charles St., Room 405, Baltimore MD 21201; 
(301) 685-4170. 

• CHICAGO LESBIAN & GAY FILM 
FESTIVAL, March 1983. Chicago Filmmakers is 
accepting entries in Super-8, 8 and 16mm as well as 
3 A " videocassette. Entry deadline: Feb. 18. No en- 
try fee. For entry form or more info, contact: 
Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers, 6 West Hub- 
bard St., Chicago IL 60610; (312) 329-0854. 

• FAC-TV INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FILMS ON ARCHITECTURE AND PLAN- 
NING, spring. Due to the lack of television pro- 
grams on architecture and planning issues, this 
festival hopes to broaden the limits of perception 
and open new methods for communicating the im- 
portance of the "built environment." It is open to 
anyone who has created films or videotapes on 
these themes. Categories include: documentary, 
dramatic, animated and experimental. In addition 
to the festival, FAC-TV is sponsoring Archi-Spot, 
a TV spot/public service announcement competi- 
tion, also based on architectural and planning 
themes. This year's festival will be held in New 
York. Exact dates will be announced by the festival 
in early 1983. Contact: FACT/USA, 491 Broad- 
way, 11th floor, New York NY 10012; (212) 
966-0713 or 877-5572. 

• HEALTH JOURNALISM AWARDS, June. 
This competition, established in 1976, recognizes 
journalists who promote health, suggest solutions 
to problems, motivate public health care and con- 
tribute to responsible reporting. Sponsored by the 
American Chiropractic Association, the competi- 
tion averages 160 entries, which must be in 16mm. 
Please contact the competition for categories and 
futher information. No entry fee. Deadline: Dec. 
31 -April. Contact: American Chiropractic 
Association, Public Affairs, 220 Grand Ave., Des 
Moines IA 50312; (703) 276-8800. 

• KENYON FILM FESTIVAL, February. The 
purpose of this festival, established in 1965, is to 
encourage independent filmmakers and promote 
individual expression. Entries must be in 16mm 
and under 60 minutes. $700 in prizes is awarded. 
Judging is performed by a jury of filmmakers,' 



teachers, critics and the audience. Entry fee: $5 per 
film; entrant pays postage. Deadline: February. 
Contact: Philip A. Hooker, Director, PO Box 17, 
Gambier OH 43022. 

• MIAMI SUPERS FESTIVAL, March 3. 
Established in 1974 and sponsored by the Miami 
University Educational Media Department, this 
festival is open to amateurs and students. Citations 
of merit are awarded. Contact film festival for 
more information. No entry fee. Deadline: 
January. Contact: Miami University, Mary Jo 
Easton, EDM Department, Oxford OH 45056; 
(513) 529-3736. 

• NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, April-May, was established in 1970 in 
order to exhibit outstanding educational films to 
educators, students and the public. Sponsored by 
the Motera Educational Film Foundation, it 
averages 2500 in attendance. Educational film en- 
tries may be 16 or 8mm, produced or released 
within the previous year. Student and feature 
educational films may be in 8, Super-8 or 16mm. 
Categories are too numerous to mention, so please 
contact the festival for further information. Film 
strip contest entries are also accepted in 35mm. 
Cash awards are given. Judging is based on "im- 
agination, continuity and technical excellence." 
Entry fees vary according to section. Deadline: 
Feb. 15. Contact: Sue Davies, Motera Educational 
Film Foundation, 5555 Ascot Dr., Oakland CA 
94611; (415)531-8001. 

• NATIONAL COUNCIL OF FAMILY RELA- 
TIONS (NCFR) FILM, VIDEOTAPE & 
FILMSTRIP AWARDS COMPETITION, Oc- 



tober. The purpose of this competition, establish- 
ed in 1969, is to encourage and recognize ex- 
cellence in production and to promote the effective 
use of films, videotapes and filmstrips in depicting 
family life. Films must be in 16mm and filmstrips 
in 35mm. Please write to the competition for a list 
of categories. Awards are given. Entry fees: $30 
for 1-15 minutes, $40 for 16-30 minutes and $50 
for over 30 minutes. Sponsor pays return postage. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Sue Ann Williams, 
Coordinator, 1219 University Ave. Southeast, 
Minneapolis MN 55414, (612) 331-2774. 

• NATIONAL VIDEO FESTIVAL & STU- 
DENT COMPETITION, June. The competitive 
section is only open to video students. Prizes are 
awarded. Categories include: documentary, infor- 
mative, dramatic and experimental. The non- 
competitive section is by invitation only. The 
deadline for the student competition is Feb. 15. 
For specific information please contact: American 
Film Institute, JFK Center for the Performing 
Arts, Washington DC 20566. 

• NEVADA CITY FILM FESTIVAL, Apr. 
29-30, established in 1980, is restricted to 
amateurs. Entries may be in 16, Super-8 or 8mm 
and under 30 minutes, produced noncommercially 
in the previous year. Prizes from $50-$ 150 are 
awarded in each division. Judging is based on 
"originality, technical competence and artistic ex- 
pression." Entry fee: $5 per film; sponsor pays 
return postage. Deadline: 1st week in April. Con- 
tact: Sierra Film Society, Ross Woodbury, Direc- 
tor, PO Box 1387, Nevada City CA 95959; (916) 
265-3622. 



MEDIA 



ARTS 



FILM PRODUCTION WORKSHOP 

One-Year Intensive Narrative Film Course 
Hands-On Experience • Guest Lecturers 
Scriptwriting • November thru June 

COMING WORKSHOPS 

Video Production Workshop 
Weekend Classes in Narrative Video 
Emphasis on Portable Video 



TELEVISION DRAMA WORKSHOP 

Six-Month Teleplay Writing Workshop 
Monday Evenings • November thru May 

VIDEO EDITING 

Now Open to the Public 
Hands-On Rough-Edit Facility 
Sony Z6B 3 M" Editing System 
Low Cost • Residencies Available 




JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



23 



THE INDEPENDENT 



• NORTH AMERICAN OUTDOOR 
ACADEMY AWARDS, March. The purpose of 
these awards is to promote excellence and increase 
the exposure of films dealing with conservation, 
outdoor recreation and ecology. It is sponsored by 
the Outdoor Writers' Association of America and 
the North American Wildlife Conference. Entries 
must be in 16mm. The winner receives the Outdoor 
Film of the Year plaque. Entry fee: $25. deadline: 
Feb. 1. Contact: Outdoor Writers' Association of 
America, James F. Keefe, Chairman, Missouri 
Department of Conservation, PO Box 180, Jeffer- 
son City MO 65102; (314) 635-2048. 

• ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL 
AMATEUR FILM FESTIVAL, 1st weekend in 
May. The purpose of this amateurs-only festival, 
established in 1959, is to present exceptional 
amateur and non-theatrical films to the public. It 
is sponsored by Movies on a Shoestring, supported 
by the New York State Council for the Arts and 
recognized by the International Association of 
Amateur Film Festivals. Entries may be in 16, 
Super-8 or 8mm, with a maximum of two films per 
entrant. The Shoestring Trophy is awarded to ac- 
cepted films, and honorable mentions are given to 
films not in the program. Judging is based on con- 
cept, artistic achievement and photographic skill. 
Entry fee: $6 per film. Deadline: Mar. 19. Con- 
tact: Polly Hansen, President, PO Box 3360, 
Rochester NY 14614; (716) 724-2920. 

• SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE (SFAI) 
FILM FESTIVAL, March. The purpose of this 
festival is to promote US independent films. En- 
tries may be in Super-8 or 16mm with a maximum 
length of 35 minutes. $1,500 is distributed among 
the winners. Entry fee: $10 for individuals, $35 for 
distributors. Deadline: February. Contact Don 
Lloyd, 800 Chestnut St., San Francisco CA 94133; 
(415) 771-7020. 

• SANTA FE WINTER FILM EXPOSITION, 
second annual, March 2-31 (weekly) at Armory for 
the Arts Theater. Open to North American in- 
dependent 16mm films, optical. 90 minutes max. 
Deadline for entries: Jan. 31. Entry fee: $5. For 
more info contact: Teresa Tucker, 1050 Old Pecos 
Trail, Santa Fe NM 87501; (505) 983-1207. 

• TEXPO SOUTHWEST FILM AND VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, March. This annual festival, estab- 
lished in 1973, is restricted to southwestern US in- 
dependents, students and amateurs. Its purpose is 
to provide for screenings of new work by indepen- 
dent video and filmmakers. It is sponsored by 
SWAMP, the Houston Festival and the Texas 
Commission on the Arts. Entries may be in 
Super-8 or 16mm. Categories include: documen- 
tary, fiction, animation and experimental. No en- 
try fee; sponsor pays return postage. Contact: 
Southwest Alternate Media Project, Ed Hugetz, 
1519 West Main, Houston TX 77006; (713) 
522-8592. 

• WESTERN HERITAGE AWARDS, Apr. 
24-26, was established in 1961 to honor the drama 
and heritage of the Old West. The competition is 
sponsored by and held at the National Cowboy 
Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. En- 
tries may be in 35 or 16mm and must have been 
produced in the previous two years. Categories in- 
clude: theatrical motion picture, documentary, 
factual television and fictional television. 
Wrangler Trophies are awarded for excellence in 
Western Achievement in each category. Judging is 
based on accomplishment in portraying the spirit 

24 



of Western pioneers. No entry fee; entrant pays 
postage. Deadline: Jan. 15. Contact: National 
Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage 
Center, 1700 Northeast 63 St., Oklahoma City OK 
73111; (405)478-2250. ■ 



Foreign 

• ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, June. Established in 1960, this 
festival now attracts about 40,000 spectators, 
although it's still Australia's "small" festival, 
Melbourne and Sydney figuring more prominent- 
ly. Feature, short, documentary and animated film 
entries may be in 70, 35 or 16mm. Short, 
documentary or animated films must be 60 
minutes maximum. Special awards go to features 
and shorts of exceptional merit. No entry fee; 
festival pays return postage on accepted entries. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Ian Lauri, Director, 
GPO Box 354, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, 
Australia; Tel: 278-6330. 

• ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED 
FILM FESTIVAL, June. This festival, established 
in 1956, screens all types of animated film from 
around the world. One of the world's four major 
animation festivals, it is recognized by the Interna- 
tional Association of Animated Film and the 
IFFPA. Entries, which average 700 from 40 coun- 
tries, may be in 35 or 16mm and must have been 
completed within two years prior to the event. Two 
grand prizes are awarded, as well as prizes in each 
category. No entry fee; entrant pays postage. 
Deadline: February. Contact: Annecy Interna- 
tional Animated Film Festival, 21 Rue de la Tour 
d'Auvergne, Paris 75009, France. 

• BUDAPEST INTERNATIONAL SPORTS 
FILM FESTIVAL, May, was established in 1970. 
The purpose of this festival is to screen sports films 
from various countries, promote competitive and 
group sports and popularize sports in Hungary. 
They average 102 entries from 22 countries. En- 
tries may be in 35 or 16mm and must have been 
produced within the previous two years. Prizes are 
awarded. There is no entry fee; entrant pays 
postage. Deadline: March. Contact: Hungarian 
National Office for Physical Education and Sports 
(OTSH), Catherine Ruszkai, Secretary General, 
Rosenburg hp. u. 1. H-1054 Budapest V., 
Hungary; Tel: 119-080, 121-214. 

• EKOFILM INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROB- 
LEMS, May. This festival, established in 1974, in- 
troduces new films on the subject of environmen- 
tal problems and their solutions. It is sponsored by 
the Federal Ministry for Technical Development 
and Investments. The festival averages 120 entries, 
with 5,000 in attendance. Entries may be in 16 or 
35mm. Categories include: Human settlement en- 
vironment, agricultural production ecologization, 
industry, energy systems, facilities transportation, 
negative environmental effects limitation, 
ecologically balanced landscape development. 
EKOFILM grand prize and 5 main prizes in each 
category are awarded. Entry fee: $15 up to 30 
minutes in length, $24 over 30 minutes. Deadline: 
March. Contact: Libuse Novotna, Director, Kon- 
viktska 5 113 57 Prague 1, Czechoslovakia; Tel: 
263032. 

• FACT-FILM, September-October. The pur- 
pose of this festival, established in 1973, is to pro- 
mote the use of media to convey architectural and 



urban issues to the general public. It is sponsored 
by UNESCO, the French Government and Colum- 
bia University of New York. The festival averages 
200 entries with 1,500 in attendance. Entries may 
be in 16mm and other formats on request. Ap- 
proximately $4,000 is shared among winners. En- 
try fee: $10, which includes return postage. 
Deadline: March. Contact: FACT (Forum Ar- 
chitecture, Communication, Territory), Francois 
Confino, Director, Circa, Chartreuse 30400 
Villeneuve lez Avignon, France; Tel: (90) 25-05-46. 

• INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SUPERS 
CINEMA, March, was established in 1975 to ex- 
pose film as art. It is sponsored by Accion Super-8 
and the Federacion Internacional del Cinema 
Super-8. Festival attendance averages 3,000. En- 
tries may be in Super-8 or 8mm. Awards are given. 
Judging is based on content, form, language and 
technique. Entry fee is not specified. Deadline: 
March. Contact: Accion Super-8, Enrique Lopez 
Manzano, Conde del Asalto 3, Apdo. Correos 
35352, Barcelona 1, Spain; Tel: (93) 317-39-74. 

• INTERNATIONAL WIDESCREEN COM- 
PETITION, April-May. Established in 1964 and 
restricted to amateurs, this festival encourages use 
of the wide-screen format. Entries may be in 
PAN-16, 16, '/2-16, Super-8 and 8mm. Awards are 
given. Entry is free to members and 2 pounds sterl- 
ing plus return postage for non-members. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Widescreen Centre, 
Tony Shapps, Vice President, 88 Marylebone High 
St., London W1M 3DE, England; Tel: 
01-935-2580. 

• KARLOVY VARY INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL*, July. The purpose of this festival, 
established in 1946, is to "introduce and evaluate 
outstanding films." Their motto is: "For noble 
relationships among people; for lasting friendships 
among nations." It is recognized by the IFFPA, 
and alternates with Moscow as the major interna- 
tional feature film festival in eastern Europe. 
Gauges are not specified. Categories include: 
feature, first work (feature, documentary, or 
short) and short. Awards are given. No entry fee; 
Entrant pays postage. Deadline: March. Contact: 
Czechoslovak Film, Jindrisska 34, 111 45 Prague 
1, Czechoslovakia; Tel: 266667. 

• MAN AND THE SEA UNDER WA TER FILM 
FESTIVAL, March. This festival, established in 
1968, attempts to collect information on the 
marine environment through film and underwater 
photography competitions. It is sponsored by the 
Australian Underwater Federation and the 
Australian diving industry. Entries must be in 16 
or 8mm and shot underwater. No awards are 
given. No entry fee; entrant pays postage. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Australian Underwater 
Federation (AUF), ATT: John Maynard, PO Box 
67, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4067, 
Australia; Tel: 07-3793339. 

• MOOMBA INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR 
FILM FESTIVAL-AUSTRALIA'S TEN BEST 
ON EIGHT, late February-early March. Entries 
for this festival are restricted to amateurs, and 
students under 19 years of age. The festival 
averages 75 entries from 16 countries, with 13 win- 
ners and 1,200 in attendance. Films may be in 
Super-8 or 8mm; 30 minutes is the preferred 
length. Award categories include: animation, com- 
edy, documentary, experimental, screenplay /story 
and travel/holiday. Deadline: February. Contact: 
Melbourne 8mm Movie Club, Donald C. Wood, 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



Director, 12-14 Tannock Street, North Balwyn, 
Victoria 3104, Australia; Tel: (03) 857-7457. 

• OBERHAUSEN INTERNATIONAL 
FESTIVAL OF SHORT FILMS, March, has been 
moved forward one month this year, and so has its 
entry deadline: to January. This reputable short 
film exposition awards cash prizes totaling bet- 
ween DM 10,000 and DM 15,000. Entries must be 
German premieres, under 35 min., and in 16 or 
35mm. Stress is laid on the following categories: 
social documents, new developments in animation 
and the short feature film, student films (par- 
ticularly from film schools) and debut films. 
American films did very well last year, taking a 
record three prizes and reportedly entering into 
distribution as well. Festival committee member 
Klaus Kreimeier will be in New York from Jan. 8 
to 1 1 this year to screen entries to the New York In- 
dependent Filmmakers' Exposition, as announced 
in the December Independent. To enter the 
NYIFE, contact: Nick Manning, Brooklyn Arts 
and Culture Association, 200 Eastern Parkway, 
Brooklyn NY 11238, (212) 783-3077. Deadline for 
entries is a flexible Jan. 3. Shipment of films to 
Germany is then handled by Goethe House in NY; 
more information may be obtained from Ingrid 
Scheib-Rothbart, Goethe House, 1014 Fifth Ave ., 
New York NY 100028, (212) 744-8310. To contact 
the festival directly, write: Wolfgang Ruf, 
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, 
Grillostrasse 34, 4200 Oberhausen 1; West Ger- 
many. Tel: (0208) 825 26 52 (28 99). 

• SOPHIA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
ORGANIZATION, AUTOMATION, PRODUC- 




Marc Hayashi and Wood May pursue a clue, 
gumshoe-style, in Wayne Wang's 'Chan is 
Missing,' which opened at the Asian American 
Film Fest. 

TION & MANAGEMENT, May. Categories for 
this festival include scientific, popular science, 
research, educational and documentary. Entries 
may be in 35 or 16mm, produced during the last 
three years with a maximum length of 30 minutes. 
Gold, silver and bronze Globes are awarded to 
winners. Deadline: March. Contact: Infor Film 
Servis Bulgaria, 135 Rakovsky Street, Sofia, 
Bulgaria. 

• TARBES-PYRENEES INTERNATIONAL 
TOURISM FILM FESTIVAL:, June, was 
established in 1967 in order to promote graphic 
and audiovisual tourism and to encourage the 
spectator to explore different regions and coun- 
tries. Entries must be in 35 or 16mm and no longer 
than 52 minutes. Awards are given. Entry fee is 
1,000 FF for one film, 1,300 for two, 1,500 for 
three and 100 additional for each after three. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Etienne Achille-Fould, 



President, 2 Place Ferre, 65000 Tarbes, France; 
Tel: (62) 93-00-78. 

• TRENTO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
MOUNTAIN AND EXPLORATION FILMS, 
April-May. This festival, established in 1952, pro- 
motes knowledge and appreciation of mountains. 
Entries may be in 35 or 16mm, feature or 
documentary. Categories include: excursionism 
expeditions, speleology, people and activities, 
mountain sports, geography and environmental 
protection. Awards are given. No entry fee. 
Deadline: March. Contact: Piero Zanotto, Direc- 
tor, Via Verdi 30, Cp 402 38100 Trento, Italy; Tel: 
0461-38175. 

• VARNA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
RED CROSS AND HEALTH FILMS,* June. 
Established in 1963, the purpose of this festival is 
to gather and screen the best films and videotapes 
dealing with Red Cross, health and humanitarian 
subjects. The theme of the festival is: "Through 
humanity to peace and friendship." It is recog- 
nized by the IFFPA. Entries may be in 35 or 16mm 
and must have been produced in the previous two 
years. Categories include: Red Cross films, car- 
toons, prevention problems in environmental pro- 
tection and pollution, popular science on health, 
and television films (popular science documentary, 
education and cartoons). Awards are given. No en- 
try fee; sponsor pays return postage. Deadline: 
February. Contact: Alexander Marinov, 1 
Biruzov, Sofia 1527, Bulgaria; Tel: 441-14-43, 
441-14-45. 

• Asterisk indicates that festival will qualify your 
film for the A cademy A wards. . ■ 



CINETUDES FILM PRODUCTIONS, LTD. 

295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 966-4600 

EDITING & POST-PRODUCTION FACILITIES 

FILM & VIDEO 



ATELIER CINEMA VIDEO STAGES 

295 W. 4th Street, New York City 10014 • 243-3550 



JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



25 



THE INDEPENDENT 



AIVF NOTICES 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF memoers receive first priority; 
others included as space permits. Send notices to THE INDEPENDENT 
do FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10012. For further info, 
call (212) 473-3400. Deadline: 8th of second preceding month (e.g. 
February 8 for April). Edited by Mary Guzzy. 



Buy •Rent •Sell 



• FOR SALE: Salzman animation stand w/ mint 
Maver 05 16mm camera & 2x400' mags. 
Automated rackover; 10 ' auto/manual column; 
manual shutter; opal glass for slides & transparen- 
cies; no follow focus. Excellent for beginner; solid 
for school situation. $3950 or best offer. Contact: 
Amalie, (212) 925-1500, NY. 

• FOR SALE: JVC KY-2000 Power Servo zoom 
lens, fl.9, 10 x -100mm; never used. Best offer. 
Contact: John, (212) 691-8618 pm, NY. 

TOR SALE: Moviola flatbed 16mm 6-plate. | 

Hollow prism. One owner. Excellent condition. 5 

$8500 or best offer. Contact: Joyce Chopra, (203) 5 

927-4406, CT. E 

>- 

CO 

Uj 

• FOR SALE: Bolex H-16 16mm camera w/ case, jj: 
Switar 25mm fl.4 lens & Elgeet 75mm fl.9 lens: § 
$325. Bell & Howell Filmo 240 w/Super Comat ° 
20mm fl.9 lens & Schneider-Xenar 75mm f2.8 lens: 
$150. Contact: Dan Klugherz, (212) 799-7973, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Video camera package. JVC 
KY-2000 camera, JVC 4400 U VCR, color 
monitor, full light kit, fluid head tripod, mics. 
Low rates for independents. Contact: Erik Lewis, 
(212) 788-0254, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Sony 3800 w/ ecu, Hitachi GP5 
camera, Shure mixer & mics, small Smith-Victor 
light set & various cables. 5 yrs. old, hardly used. 
Best offer. Contact: M. Bartos, (212) 370-9600, 9 
am-5 pm, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Bolex H-16 reflex, 3 lenses, case. 
Excellent condition; good price. Contact: Michael, 
(212) 966-1067, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Stellavox SP-7; very good condi- 
tion; $900. AKG cardioid dynamic mic; $50. Con- 
tact: Lucinda, ICAP, (212) 533-9180, NY. 

• FOR RENT: Ikegami-HL 77, BVU-110, Senn- 
heiser mixer, mics. Colortran lights. $500/day 
package w/ video engineer. Multi-camera & 1 " 
video available. All other production services also 
available. Call: (212) 473-6947, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Sony SLO-340 Beta VCR, Sony 
1610 camera, cases, accessories; excellent condi- 
tion. Call: (212) 807-0129, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Industrial Betamax SLO-320, mint 
condition w/ remote; original shipping box. Ex- 
cellent for Vi " editing, dubbing or just high- 
quality viewing. Call: (212) 986-0910, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Nagra III, $1800; 16mm Auricon, 
12-120 Angenieux, case & 2 mags, $950; Moviola 
16mm, $600; JVC 6300 VTR, $900; Sony 3800 
VTR, AC unit, $900. Call: (212) 486-9020, NY. 

• FOR RENT: Video, on line/off line; Panasonic 
26 



professional 3 /4 " editing; Ikegami HL79 camera. 
Low rates. Contact: David Nugent, (212) 
486-9020. 

• FOR RENT: Transfer machine & studio-based 
Nagra for editing purposes. Low rates. Call: (212) 
925-6745/505-0154, NY. 

• TRANSCRIPTION SERVICE: Your 
documentary tapes transcribed. Film, TV, 
speeches. Reduced rate for indie documentarians: 
$1.70/page on IBM Selectric II. Dependable & 
precise; rush work specialist. Contact: Michele 
Gechlik, (212) 957-9376, NY. 




Saldo & Engel's 'No Immediate Danger' probes 
effects of seven decades of low-level radia- 
tion—See 'In & Out'. 



Editing Facilities 



• DEADLINE POST PRODUCTION offers l A " 
video rough-cut facilities utilizing JVC 
Tapehandler editing system. $25/hr. w/ editor; 
$19/hr. w/o editor. 24-hr. access. Contact: 
Deadline Post Production, 31 Second Ave., NY 
NY 10003, (212) 777-0168. 

• DEKART VIDEO offers Va " editing facilities: 
JVC Tapehandler 8200/88U; character & synch 
generators, color graphics camera, fade-to-black, 
color correction, detailer, dubbing capability, 
audio mix & more. In-house studio. $25/hr. w/ 
editor, $20/hr. w/o editor. Special to artists & no- 
budget projects: $15/hr. w/o editor. Contact: 
Dieter Froese, 133 Chrystie St., NY NY 10002, 
(212) 966-7786. 

• 16mm EDITING ROOM for rent. Fully 
equipped w/ Nagra & transfer machine access. 
Village area; $600/mo. Call: (212) 
925-6745/505-0145, NY. 



• VAHLKN FILMS, INC., 8-year-old film 
editing service, now offers V* " off-line video ser- 
vice w/ Sony VO-5850 decks. Call: (212) 586-1603, 

NY. 

• TWO COMPLETE EDIT ROOMS in Chelsea: 
(A) 24-hr. access; Moviola flatbed w/ torque 
motor box; complete 16mm edit equipment; com- 
plete kitchen and bathroom; minimal office 
facilities; telephone; air conditioning. (B) 10 am-6 
pm access; Steenbeck; complete 16mm edit equip- 
ment: limited kitchen, bath facilities; private 
phone; air conditioning; transfer & projection 
facilities; specialized edit equipment available at 
extra cost. Contact: David Loucka, Lance Bird, 
(212) 924-1960, NY. 

Films £ Tapes Wanted 

• JACKPOT PRODUCTIONS, independent 
releasing agent, seeks independently produced 
feature-length film/video suitable for theatrical & 
broadcast syndication. Works chosen on basis of 
quality, general appeal & commercial salability. 
16mm, 35mm film, 3 A ", 1 " tape. Contact: Tom 
Miller, Jackpot Prod., 26 East 6 St., ERP 8, Cin- 
cinnati OH 45202, (513) 421-0447. 

• THE RITZ seeks video artists & special effects 
people interested in having work shown at largest 
video club in world. Contact: Ilene Staple, (212) 
254-2800, NY. 

• CH 35- THE HEAL TH CHANNEL seeks pro- 
grams on health care information & public health 
concerns for cablecast to 10,000 subscribers. CH 
35 is part of Warner/Amex cable franchise agree- 
ment w/ cities of Lynn & Swampscott MA. Pro- 
grams presented by Lynn & Union Hospitals. Con- 
tact: Linda Rubin, Health Channel Coord., PO 
Box 71, Lynn MA 01903. 

• THE SHU FOUND A TION wishes to purchase 
vocational training & visual programs on subjects 
of technics, science, medicine & agriculture for ex- 
port. Contact: F.M.S. Shu, PO Box 784, Los 
Altos CA 94022. 

• UNIV. OF HOUSTON closed-circuit cable 
system exhibits independent video works. Contact: 
Sherry Mayberry, (713) 749-1745. 

• THE BLACK FILM CENTER /ARCHIVE, 
project of Afro-American Studies Dept., Indiana 
Univ., seeks to expand collection of historic & cur- 
rent films by & about blacks; also black film 
posters, playbills, slides & other memorabilia old 
& recent. Will purchase at reasonable prices. Con- 
tact: Dr. Phyllis Klotman, Dir. Black Film 
Center/ Archive, Memorial Hall East M27, In- 
diana University, Bloomington IN 47405. 

• CENTRE PRODUCTIONS looking for high- 
quality education & documentary films for 
distribution to non-theatrical & TV markets. 
Prefer films under 30 min. relating to social 
studies, art & language arts. Send brief synopsis, 
reviews and/or awards. Contact: Centre Prods., 
Inc., 1327 Spruce St., Ste. #3, Boulder CO 80302, 
(303)444-1166. 

• VIDEO OUT seeks tapes for international 
distribution. Operating under auspices of Satellite 
Video Exchange Society; acquisition committee 
meets bimonthly to screen & review tape submis- 
sions. Send description of tape & receive further 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



info on distribution procedures. Contact: Video 
Out, 261 Powell St., Vancouver BC, Canada V6A 
1G3. 

• EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO looking for works 
produced by Latinos/as or dealing w/ Latino/a 
issues in areas of experimental, narrative & 
documentary video. Send V* " b/w or color 
cassette, synopsis & list of credits. Contact: John 
Narvaez, Video at El Museo, El Museo del Barrio, 
1230 Fifth Ave., NY NY 10029. 

• FILMMAKER SEEKS FOOTAGE of cats: 
16mm, mostly in groups, stray or otherwise. Will 
pay. Contact: Roberta Cantow, 136 West 87 St., 
NY NY 10024, (212) 874-7255. 



Funds • Resources 

m WOMEN IN FILM AND VIDEO now share 
office space at 2637 Connecticut Ave., Washington 
DC w/ access to conference/screening room. Call: 
(202) 328-7888. 

• NEED FOOTAGE FROM EUROPE? We can 
shoot it for you cheaply, quickly. Contact: 
Meadows, 48 Rue de Passy, 75016 Paris, France; 
Tel: 011-33-1-525-6243. 

• SOUTHWEST ALTERNATIVE MEDIA 
PROJECT has list of 30 film/tape distributors of 
independent shorts & documentaries. Contact: 
SWAMP, Distribution List, 1519 West Main, 
Houston TX 77006, (713) 522-8592. 

• HISPANIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
NETWORK, production group recently formed to 
serve Hispanic Catholic community, produces 
weekly Spanish language TV series. Contact: Adan 
Medrano, HTN Inc., 1828 Grandstand Dr., San 
Antonio TX 78238, (512) 680-7777. 

• DOCUMENTAR Y FILM PROGRAM at New 
Mexico Anthropology Film Center open to 
undergrads, grads, teachers, researchers & practi- 
tioners w/ special interest in film, social & 
humanistic studies. Part I is 5 -mo. intensive study 
of documentary & anthropological filmmaking. 
Part II involves work on independent, 
professional-quality projects. Inquiries & applica- 
tions to: Director of Admissions, Documentary 
Film Program, PO Box 493, Santa Fe NM 87501. 

• FILM FUND APPLICATIONS & 
GUIDELINES for 1983 grant cycle available in 
Jan., 1983. Deadline for application: 6/1/83. Con- 
tact: Film Fund, 80 East 11 St., Ste. 647, NY NY 
10003. (212) 475-3720. 

• FINE ARTS WORK CENTER now accepting 
applications for 1983-1984. 10 artists & 10 writers 
receive 7-mo. fellowships including monthly sti- 
pend, studio/living quarters & distinguished resi- 
dent & visiting staff. Deadline: 2/1/83. Contact: 
Susan Slocum, PO Box 565, Provincetown MA 
02657. 

• VERMONT COUNCIL ON THE ARTS 
grants-in-aid & artists-in-residence program ap- 
plications due 3/1/83. Applications to Arts-in- 
Action & Touring Aid program accepted 
throughout year. Contact: VCA, 136 State St., 
Montpelier VT 05602-9989. 

• A CTV-A USTIN PUBLIC A CCESS station of- 
JANUARV FEBRUARY 19B3 



fers production equipment, assistance, workshops 
& channel space to Austin citizens interested in 
producing TV programs. Contact: ACTV, PO Box 
1076, Austin TX 78767, (5 12) 478-8600. 

• THE PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND rais- 
ing money for grants to projects & organizations 
working nationwide to promote world peace, 
global demilitarization & non-violent conflict 
resolution. Contact: PDF, PO Box 270, Amherst 
MA 01004. 

• FILM IN THE CITIES 1983 film/video grant 
applications available to artists residing in MN, 
WI, IA, ND & SD. Deadline: 3/28/83. Contact: 
FITC, 2388 University Ave., St. Paul MN 55114, 
(612) 646-6104. 

• NEA CHALLENGE GRANT application 
Deadline: 1/15/83. Contact: NEA/Challenge 
Grant Office, 2401 E. St. NW, Washington DC 
20506, (202) 632-4783. 

• SATELLITE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT 
FUND new guidelines & applications available. 
Deadline: mid-Jan., 1983. Contact: Dennis Kita, 
NPR/SPDF, 2025 M St. NW, Washington DC 
20036, (202) 822-2086. 

• SURVEY OF FILM/ VIDEO LIBRARIES 
1982, a guide to EFLA institutional members, ser- 
vices & film/video collection development pro- 
vides information on extant film libraries in- 
cluding collection size, circulation, staff size, job 
titles, salaries, funding, budgets & video develop- 
ment. $10 EFLA members, $15 non-members plus 
$1 postage. Contact: Judith Trojan, Educational 
Film Library Ass., (212) 246-4533, NY. 

• NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE 
ARTS 1983-1984 guidelines & applications now 
available. Some new funding categories & re- 
quirements in guidelines. Only qualified organiza- 
tions may apply for funding through NYSCA; in- 
dividual artists seeking support must be 
represented by a qualified org. Application 
deadline: 3/1/83. Call: (212) 587-4537. 

• NEW SCREENING FACILITY: The Museum 
of Modern Art announces the opening of the Roy 
& Niuta Titus Theatre II: 35 ' x 60 ', 229 seats, 7 ° 
slope, 27'Xl214' screen. Contains 2 35mm 
Simplex projectors; 2 16mm Elmo projectors, 2000 
watts; 1 S-8 Elmo projector; 2 slide projectors, 
high-intensity incandescent lamps; Dolby sound 
system; full-equalization tape playback, cassette or 
reel-to-reel; lecture/panel mic facilities; provision 
for future in-house TV & large-screen video pro- 
jection. Contact: Alicia Springer, Film Press Rep., 
MoMA, 11 West 53 St., NY NY 10019, (212) 
708-9752. 

• NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE 
ARTS accepting resumes & registration forms 
from artists living in NY state for 1983-1984 
Artist-in-Residence programs. Program places 
practicing professional artists in a variety of com- 
munity settings; film & video artists eligible. 
Deadline: 2/23/83. Registration & further info 
available from: Valerie Rochon, NY Fdtn. for 
Arts, AIR Programs, 5 Beekman St., Rm. 600, NY 
NY 10038, (212) 233-3900. 

In & Out of Production 

• PRINCIPAL SHOOTING COMPLETED for 




CORI 

is pleased to represent 

some of America's finest 

filmmakers for overseas 

sales. 

FILMS NOW AVAILABLE 

EIGHT MINUTES TO MIDIGHT 

MARY BENJAMIN 
DAY AFTER TRINITY JON ELSE 

MOONCHILD ANNE MAKEPEACE 
ENERGY WAR AD. PENNEBAKER 

EL SALVADOR: ANOTHER VIETNAM 

GLENN SILBER 
JOE MCCARTHY: THE MAKING OF 
A DEMAGOGUE 
GLENN SILBER and BARRY BROWN 

NEW CLIENTS 

BLOOD AND SAND 

SHARON SOPHER 
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH 

ANDREW STERN 
RESURGENCE PAM YATES 

The above are 1 to 1 1 /2 hour specials 
We also represent titles of shorter dura- 
tion. 



If you wish assistance in prices 

and servicing in foreign countries, 

please contact: 

Marie Hoy, President 

CORI & ORIENT INC. 

Ste 1200 

2409 Century Park East 

Los Angeles, CA 90067 

213-557-0173 

telex 9104901669 



We own and operate our own 
offices in LONDON, TOKYO and 
LOS ANGELES, thereby providing 
the infrastructure to sell and 
service films internationally. 



27 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Gire us your 
lirty monies 




/our tired, 
/our poor 

scratched 

brittle 

buckled 

torn 

huddled masses of 

oil stained 

deteriorated film, 

/our curled 

"rain/" 

shrunken 

faded film, 

the wretched 

refuse of /our 

film library:.. 



Be it 16mm 8mm super 8mm 
microfilm 35mm 70mm 




RLMblFE 



FILMLIFE BUILDING 

Moonachie, N. J. 07074 

Call Collect: 201-440-8500 



Dam the Chico: A Documentary on Development 
& Opposition in the Philippines by Jeffrey 
Chester, Charles Drucker, Scott Robinson, Ismael 
Saavedra. 1 hr., color. Contact: Charles Drucker, 
Friends of the Earth, 1045 Sansome St., San Fran- 
cisco CA 94111, (415) 433-7373. 

• IN PRODUCTION: Austin group producing 
educational/cukural program of well-known 
Hispanic artists, musicians, poets & writers for use 
by community groups & local organizations. Con- 
tact: Abraham J. Vasquez, PO Box 49355, Austin 
TX, (512) 479-0773/476-3595. 

• IN PRODUCTION: documentary focusing on 
water resources, availability & impact on social 
development & welfare; by Richard Broadman of 
Cine Research. Partially funded by NEH, film is 
lated for national PBS broadcast in early 1983. 

• DECISION TO WIN: THE FIRST FRUITS, 
16mm; color; 75 min.; Spanish dialogue, English 
subtitles. Direction & production by Cero a la Iz- 
quierda Film Collective, El Salvador. Released 
Dec. '81. First film on El Salvador crisis & con- 
struction of popular power in areas liberated by 
FMLN. Filmed in Morazan, northeastern front by 
an all-Salvadoran crew. Available from ES Film & 
Video Projects, 799 Broadway, Rm. 325, NY NY 
10003, (212)989-0541. 



• NO IMMEDIATE DANGER out of produc- 
tion. For 70 yrs., people of Strabane PA have been 
exposed to low-level radiation wastes. Videotape 
details community's efforts to investigate own 
health problems & their eroding faith in govt, 
ability to solve problem. By Gerald Saldo & Joan 
Engel. Silver Hugo Award, 18th Chicago Interna- 
tional Film Festival, Nov. 1982. Call: (212) 
431-1140, NY. 



Opportunities • Gigs 

• FEMINIST FILM SOCIETY of Yale Law 
Women's Assn. seeks filmmakers & animators to 
participate in presentations during 1982-83. 
Primarily interested in films by women & films w/ 
feminist view of life & art. Stipends, rentals, 
honoraria negotiable. Contact: Paula Bronski, PO 
Box 401A, Yale Station, New Haven CT 06520, 
(203) 562-6122, or Ann Dutlinger, (203) 769-0229. 

• WALKER ART CENTER will select intern in- 
terested in museum film/video programming for 
12-mo. period. Contact: Curator, Film Program, 
Walker Art Center, Vineland PL, Minneapolis MN 
55403, (612) 375-7600. 

• TENURE-ELIGIBLE OPENING: Cinema 
Dept., Ithaca College, beginning Aug. 1983. Teach 
& develop undergrad courses in film theory, 
history, screenwriting & production. Ph.D. or near 
required. Will consider MFA w/ extensive 
theory/history background. Experience in 
teaching &/or production. Rank & salary depend 
on experience & qualifications. Applications in- 
clude statement of interest & resume. Deadline for 
materials: 1/15/83. Equal opportunity/affir- 
mative action employer. Contact: Danny Guthrie, 
Chair, Cinema Search Comm., School of Com- 
munications, Ithaca College, Ithaca NY 14850. 

• THE FILM FUND, national organization sup- 
porting production & distribution of social issue 



media by indies, needs your help. Work w/ Pro- 
gram coordinator & development director& learn 
about grantmaking process from inside while help- 
ing fellow filmmakers. Volunteers contact: Blan- 
ca, Film Fund, 80 East 11 St., NY NY, (212) 
475-3720. 

• SEEKING FILM/ VIDEO TECHNICIANS in- 
terested in working on low-budget dramatic 
features on profit participation basis: actors, 
writers, production assts. willing to work on spec. 
Contact: Terry Williams, Witness Films Inc., 37 
West 20 St., Rm. 1005, NY NY 10011. 



THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY 

NEEDS YOU! 

In these troubled times, we need all the 
help we can get — from each other. There 
are several ways you can help out your 
fellow independents. AIVF has launched 
four working committees that would wel- 
come your involvement: 

• ADVOCACY— help lobby public TV and 
cable on a local and national level; 

• PROGRAMS— Develop FIVF's Screen- 
ings & Seminars, Festival Bureau and 
The Independent magazine; 

• MEMBERSHIP— Build independent 
solidarity nationwide through outreach 
and chapter development; 

• DEVELOPMENT— Help solidify AIVF 
/FIVF's funding base through your sug- 
gestions and expertise. 

These working committees could ac- 
complish a great deal — with your participa- 
tion. Call (212) 473-3400. 



2a 



• CINEMATOGRAPHER & SOUND ENGI- 
NEER available for film/video documentary or 
feature projects. Contact: Edmund Grant, (212) 
294-3510/724-2800, NY. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER AVAILABLE for 
fiction, documentary. Fully equipped; including 
Aaton 7 LTR, Cooke 10.4-52, 16 or S-16, Super 
Speed L.T1.3. Reasonable rates. Contact: Igor 
Sunara, (212) 249-0416, NY. 

• BARBARA ZIMMERMAN SERVICE clears 
rights for music, film clips, text or pictorial 
material. Will service anything from single music 
license to long-term project. Contact: Barbara 
Zimmerman, Rights & Permissions, 145 West 86 
St., NY NY 10024, (212) 580-0615. 

• NEGATIVE MATCHING: Negative or rever- 
sal stocks, color & b/w, A & B rolls conformed, 
scenes pulled etc. Reasonable rates, reliable ser- 
vice. Call: (212) 786-6278, NY. 

• EDITING /PRODUCTION/RESEARCH AS- 
SISTANT available to work on documentary or 
dramatic film/video. Experience in 16mm & V* " 
video; anthropological fieldwork; fluent Spanish. 
Good experience more important than compensa- 
tion. Contact: Rob Applebaum, (212) 
874-0963/874-5300, NY. 

• COMPOSER /ARRANGER experienced in 
scoring & music of all styles. Training: Juilliard, 
Manhattan School of Music, Yale. Contact: 
Daniel Rothman, (212) 666-5303, NY; (201) 
566-8014, NJ; (203) 624-7073, CT. 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



• INDIVIDUAL SEEKS INDEPENDENT 
PRODUCER interested in developing comedy 
script idea to parody And Justice for All or Im- 
proper Channels. Contact: Patricia Bateson Beck, 
2608 Morris Rd., Lansdale PA 19446. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER available w/ Arri 
16SR, fast lenses & lights. Fluent in French, 
Spanish. Negotiable rates. Contact: Pedro Bonilla, 
(212) 662-1913, NY. 

• ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/COORDIN- 
ATOR/RESEARCHER available to work w/ film 
or video production company. Dependable 
worker, willing to relocate. Contact: Suzanne, 
(516)466-0209, NY. 

• RESEARCHER w/ 3 yrs. experience in 
magazine & book research wants to apply skills to 
documentaries concerned w/ political & social 
issues. Thorough, detail-oriented & accustomed to 
working w/ limited budgets. Contact: Lynn 
Milich, (201) 461-3204, NJ. 

• SOUNDPERSON, complete w/own equip- 
ment, available for sound work. Call: (212) 
486-9020, NY. 

• SCRIPTS, BUDGETS PROFESSIONALLY 
TYPED. Also, help w/ preproduction. Call: (212) 
486-9020, NY. 

• EXPERIENCED WRITER w/ excellent track 
record in getting film grants available to help film- 
makers write or edit proposals, dramatic 
treatments. Call: (212) 691-0334, NY. 

• PRODUCTION INDIE w/ background in 
lighting film/video, sound & postproduction. Ac- 
cess to quality equipment. Reels available. Call: 
(212) 486-9020, NY. 

Publications 

• SUPER 8 IN THE VIDEO A GE by Bob Brod- 
sky & Toni Treadway. The joys of small-format 
production. Includes info on how to evaluate new 
& used cameras, film budgeting, camera noise 
reduction, extensive glossary, annotated list of 
suppliers & detailed instructions on transferring to 
other formats. $10. Contact: Brodsky & Tread- 
way, 63 Dimick St., Somerville MA. 

• MONEY BUSINESS: GRANTS & AWARDS 
FOR CREATIVE ARTISTS compiled by Rita 
Roosevelt, Anita Granoff, Karen Kennedy. New 
edition of 1978 nationwide directory of grants, 
awards, prizes for individual artists. Info on each 
of 279 entries gives organization name, address, 
phone no.; explains who is eligible, deadline, 
guidelines & substance of award. $9.50. Contact: 
The Artists' Foundation, 110 Broad St., Boston 
MA 02110. 

• NAM JUNE PAIK edited by John G. 
Hanhardt. Profusely illustrated w/ color frame 
enlargements & essays by Dieter Ronte, Michael 
Nyman, David Ross & Hanhardt. Illustrated 
chronology, lists of performances, exhibitions & 
videotapes, bibliography. Published by W.W. Nor- 
ton & Co. in association w/ Whitney Museum. 
Contact: Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Ave., 
NY NY 10041, (212) 483-0011. 

• THE COMPLETE FUNDRAISING CATA- 
LOGUE includes variety of publications, fundrais- 

JANUARV FEBRUARY 1983 




We'll help you find the New York City location 

you need-at no charge-and New York's Finest 

will protect your investment. But you'll have to 

bring your own gorilla. 

The biggest, toughest, most spectacular city in 

the world is also the easiest place on earth 

to shoot features, commercials, and television. 

The reason? Our office. For one-stop production 

information, permits, and problem solving, call 

us. We're good at what we do. And we're free. 

Nancy Littlefield, Director 

MAYOR'S OFFICE OF FILM, 

THEATRE AND BROADCASTING 

110 West 57th Street 

New York, NY 10019 

(212)489-6710 

A Division of the NYC Office of 

Economic Development 




REUI VORK CITV PRODUCES |J 



Young Filmakers/Video Arts 



13 Years of Continuous 

Service to the Independent 

Media Arts Community 

• Film/Video/Audio Equipment 

• Production and Post- 
Production Facilities 

• Beginning, Intermediate & 
Advanced Training 

CALL FOR FREE BROCHURE 

OF CURRENT PROGRAMS & 

SERVICES 



ATQ QQC1 10 am— 6 pm 
Of 0"5JOU I WEEKDAYS 

Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

4 Rivington St. NYC 10002 



INSURANCE 

FOR FILM 
PRODUCERS 

D.R. REIFF & 
ASSOCIATES 

INSURANCE BROKERS 
41 W. 83rd, NYC 10024 

SPECIALIZING IN 
ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

• AFFORDABLE INSURANCE 

• CERTIFICATES FOR NYC 
PERMITS 

• UNIQUE ENTERTAINMENT 
PACKAGE PROGRAM 

• EQUIPMENT INSURANCE 

• INSURANCE 
CONSULTING 

• PERS ONALIZED S ERVICE 

FOR QUOTATIONS CALL 
DENNIS REIFF 

(212) 877-1099 



29 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ing, non-profit management, volunteers, special 
events & communication. Free. Contact: Public 
Service Materials Center, 111 North Central Ave., 
Hartsdale, NY 10530. 

• FILM CRITICISM, 6-year-old journal 
published in Edinboro PA, prints translations & 
many important articles. Current issue, Winter 
1982, contains Vlada Petric on Griffith's The 
Avenging Conscience, Keiko McDonald on Osaka 
Elegy. $6/yr. Contact: Film Criticism, PO Box 
825, Edinboro PA 16412. 

• GUIDE TO DISARMAMENT MEDIA: 8 pp. 
guide describes 26 films, tapes & slide shows plus 
related sources, distributors & low-cost film 
libraries. Includes advice on how to organize suc- 
cessful program. Contact: Media Network, 208 
West 13 St., NY NY 10011. 

• LIBRARY ON DISARMAMENT available 
from Institute for Policy Studies. Includes Real 
Security: Restoring American Power in a 
Dangerous Decade by Richard J. Barnet; Beyond 
the Cold War: A New Approach to the Arms Race 
& Nuclear Annihilation by E.P. Thompson; 
Dubious Specter: A Skeptical Look at the Soviet 
Nuclear Threat by Fred M. Kaplan; The Counter- 
force Syndrome: A Guide to US Nuclear Weapons 
& Strategic Doctrine by Robert C. Aldridge. 
$16/set. Contact: IPS, 1901 Q St. NW, 
Washington DC 20009. 

• A TTENTION FILM RESEARCHERS & LI- 
BRARIANS: The Copyright Office will no longer 
publish The Catalog of Copyright Entries in hard- 
copy print format. Beginning this fall w/ 1979 
vol., catalog will be issued on microfiche. The 
cumulation (1970-1979) of the annual vols, may 
also be in jeopardy. Concerned persons urged to 
contact: Joe Ross, Head of Information & 
Publications, Copyright Office, Rm. LM 455, 
Library of Congress, Washington DC 20559. 

Screenings 

• DIRECT CINEMA & FILM FORUM present 
Legacy by Karen Arthur, Letters from Vietnam by 
Drew Assoc. & Vietnam Requiem by Jonas Mc- 
Cord & Bill Couterie; David Holzman 's Diary & 
My Girlfriend's Wedding by Jim McBride. Entire 
program presented on Jan. 3, 10, 17, & 24. Show 
times: 5:30, 7:30, 9:45 pm. Contact: Film Forum, 
57 Watts St., NY NY 10013, (212) 431-1590. 

• BRITISH CINEMA, year-long retrospective of 
60 yrs. of filmmaking in Great Britain, scheduled 
for May 1983 at Museum of Modern Art's Roy & 
Niuta Titus Auditorium. 200 features, 150 shorts 
include documentaries & animation. Contact: 
Alicia Springer, MoMA, (212) 956-7289, NY. 

• INDEPENDENT SCHOOL MULTI-MEDIA 
FESTIVAL: a non-competitive festival dedicated 
to recognition of outstanding creative student- 
produced media completed during 1982. Works 
are 20 min. long in S-8, 16mm film; Beta, VHS or 
Va" video formats. 1/12/83, 7:30-9:30 pm. The 
Dalton School, 108 East 89 St., NY NY. Contact: 
Jeff Stanley, (212) 722-5160 or Thomas Veltre, 
Brooklyn Friends School, (212) 852-1029. 

Workshops • Seminars 

• INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM MARKET- 
PLACE sponsored by Knowledge Industry 
30 



Publications, will be held May 22-25, 1983 at NY 
Hilton. Conference/market combines in-depth 
panel discussions w/ screening & trading, focus on 
sale & licensing programs to cable, cassette, pay 
TV & satellite outlets worldwide. Contact: Int'l 
Program Marketplace, Knowledge Industry 
Publications, Inc., 701 Westchester Ave., White 
Plains NY 10604, (914) 32F-9157, Telex: Vista, 
Inc., WHP 131514. 

• PBS FESTIVAL WORKSHOP, Jan. 5-9, 
1983. Contact: PBS, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, 
Washington DC 20024, (202) 488-5000. 

• CPB BOARD MEETING, Jan. 13-14, 1983. 
Contact: CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, Washington DC 
20036, (202) 293-6160. 



MND 



The Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarma- 
ment, an interdisciplinary network, is forming 
a Media Clearing house. We are looking for 
people from all walks of the media 
— producers, filmmakers, video artists, 
students, programmers, media profession- 
als. . . We hope to set up a library and inven- 
tory of available equipment and personnel to 
be used by the disarmament community. We 
invite all persons with materials, equipment 
or time to join us. 

PAND MEDIA TASK FORCE 

225 Lafayette St. New York NY 10012 
(212)431-7921 



• WESTERN EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY FOR 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS annual conference in 
conjunction w/ Video Expo, Feb. 15-17; Civic 
Auditorium, San Francisco. Contact: Donel Price, 
c/o Media Production Svcs., California State 
Univ., 5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles CA 
90032. 

• INSTITUTE OF AUDIO RESEARCH an- 
nounces Video Design Course for Industry, geared 
to corporate & professional individuals involved in 
video as part of occupational responsibility. 90-hr. 
unit divided into 3 30-hr. elements: I. Professional 
Video Systems; II. TV Studio Production Systems; 
III. Video Postproduction. Schedules & further in- 
fo available. Contact: Jim Pearson or Fred 
Cooley, IAR, 64 University PL, NY NY 10003, 
(212) 677-7580, 1(800)847^187. 

• FILM IN THE CITIES winter courses in film, 
video, sound & photography begin 1st wk. in Jan., 
1983. Contact: FITC, 2388 University Ave., St. 
Paul MN 55114, (612) 646-6104. 

Trims £ Glitches 

• CONGRATULATIONS to AIVF member 
John Karol of Orford NH, who received Cine 
Golden Eagle award for Ben's Mill, 1-hr. 
documentary about Vermont craftsperson Ben 



Thresher. Film has been broadcast on PBS 
Odyssey series & won Gold Award in Cindy com- 
petition earlier this year. Film has also won 1st 
prize, NH Film Festival & Red Ribbon award at 
American Film Fest. 

• RECIPIENTS OF 1982 JAMES D. PHELAN 
ART AWARD are AIVF members Peter Adair & 
Michael Rudnick of San Francisco: the first film- 
makers to receive the award. Each will receive 
$3500 in recognition of substantial bodies of work. 
Art Award, sponsored by San Francisco Founda- 
tion & established in 1935 at bequest of former 
Mayor of San Francisco, James D. Phelan, seeks 
to recognize individual promise & creativity of 
young CA-born artists. 

• CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FILM 
FUND on its fifth anniversary! Over 125 people 
showed up at Oct. party held at home of Mr. & 
Mrs. Hart Perry, Sr. Lots of good vibes, chit-chat, 
cake & champagne. Hope the next five will be as 
flourishing as the last. 

• NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LOCAL 
CABLE PROGRAMMERS has announced win- 
ners of 1982 Hometown Video Festival. AIVF 
member Reynold Weidenaar of NYC was one of 
10 selected. His tape, Between the Motion and the 
Act Falls the Shadow, may be obtained from 
NFLCP at $120/10-day tour. Contact: NFLCP, 
906 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC 20003. 

• YOUNG FILMAKERS/VIDEO ARTS would 
like to thank Cinda Firestone for helping to ex- 
pand low-cost production & postproduction ser- 
vices by donation of: Eclair NPR w/ 10-1 50mm & 
9.5-95mm Angenieux zooms; Nagra 4.2 full-track 
recorder; Steenbeck ST-1900 6-plate flatbed; 
O'Connor 50 fluid-head tripod; Sennheiser 815 
shotgun & 415 mics; plus variety of useful lighting 
& editing equipment. Her donation goes far in sup- 
porting many indpendent filmmakers working 
through YF/VA, & her thoughtfulness is deeply 
appreciated. 

• DARINO FILMS completed live-action pho- 
tography for 30-sec. public service spot, Super 
Stuff, for American Lung Assn. Director: Ed 
Darino, Darino Films, 222 Park Ave. South, NY 
NY 10003. 

• JOAN ROSENFELT NEEDS LOFT for 16mm 
screening party for 50-100 guests. Punch & finger 
food. Will pay moderate fee. Contact: Joan 
Rosenfelt, (212) 929-0727, NY. 

• CENTER SCREEN, New England's oldest ex- 
hibitor of independent film, celebrates 10th an- 
niversary season this year w/ more producing, pro- 
gramming, packaging, exhibiting & distributing in- 
die film/ video. Contact: Jane Garabedian, Asst. 
Director, Center Screen, 18 Vassar St. #20B-126, 
Cambridge MA 02139, (617) 494-0201. 

• CONGRATULATIONS TO MR. & MRS. 
GEORGE GRIFFIN on the birth of their 
daughter, Nora Ruth Griffin, born Oct. 16, 1982. 
Mrs. Griffin is better known as Karen Cooper, 
director of Film Forum. Mr. Griffin is an 
animator in New York. 

• ERRATUM: The Dec. issue incorrectly printed 
the phone no. in the following ad: FOR SALE: 
Minolta D10 S-8 camera w/Wilcam conversion; 
amplifier cables; extra 200 ' mag. Excellent condi- 
tion. Call: (212) 722-8803, NY. 

JANUARY •FEBRUARY 1983 



YouVe got 43 raw cassettes, 

four yellow pads of logs and seven days 

to get an approval copy to the station* 



IPA 



Independent 
Programming 
Associates, Inc. 

1208 West Webster 
Chicago, IL 60614 
312/871-6033 



What do you do? If you're working on a tight deadline and an even 
tighter budget, make us your first call and your last. We know the 
problems of independent production because we've been there ourselves. 

We know you need time and support and creative input to make 
rough edits into television programs. That's why we created the finest 
W editing suite in Chicago— or anywhere else. 

We offer three-machine editing with full list management on the 
Convergence 104, effects, titling and complete signal processing. Plus 
award-winning editors who make the difference. 

. We also give you the option of roughing-out sections yourself while 
your editor is putting the final touches on the open and close. Spend a 
day or spend a week (there's a client loft/lounge for the out-of-towners) 
and make yourself at home. 

We guarantee 15% discounts to any producer working on an NEA 
or Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant because we don't just like 
artists, we support them. 









■'-' :-' : "::::::,'- 



ssr 



X 



.k/M&T 



*■ J At to/ , ■*"■>""■">* 
" *»*/«»' — — 

■■■■■"'■ \ : ., 



F#*5 ■ 








Call for Participation 

Art, 
Film 
and 
Video 




ART SHOW 

Computer-generated drawings, 
photographs, sculpture, prints and 
murals are being reviewed for in- 
clusion in the July 25-29 
SIGGRAPH '83 art show. Also 
being solicited for the art show are 
film and video works and installa- 
tions involving computer graphics. 
Deadline: April 1, 1983 
Contact: Copper Giloth at 
(312) 663-0584 



FILM & VIDEOTAPE SHOWS 

The latest scientific, commercial 
and artistic computer-generated 
motion graphics on film and 
videotape are being reviewed for 
the two evening SIGGRAPH '83 
film and videotape shows. 
Deadline: June 24, 1983 
Contact: Doris Kochanek at 
(514) 333-3434 



General SIGGRAPH '83 information can be obtained by contacting SIGGRAPH 
'83 Conference Office, 111 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60601; (312) 
644-6610. 




Di^ 



VIDEO 



3/. n post 

"4 PRODUCTION 

$ 20/ $ 25 

JVC SYSTEM 8200 / 88U FADES / COLOR 

CORRECTION / GRAPHICS 

CAMERA / DETAILER / CHARACTER 

GENERATOR / SYNCH GENERATOR 

PRODUCTION SWITCHER 

IN-HOUSE STUDIO PRODUCTION 

DUBS: VHS — U-MATIC — VHS 

SLO-MO / FREEZE / REVERSE / Vz " 

R/R COPIES / COLOR 8650 

AUDIO MIXER / EQUALIZER 

EFP PRODUCTION 

DEKART VIDEO 

212-966-7786 



FfVF 

625 Broadway, 9th floor 

New York, NY 10012 



NON-PROFIT ORG. 

U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 

New York, NY. 
Permit No. 7069 



MOVING? LET US KNOW... 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process 
an address change, and we don't 
want you to miss a single issue. 



THE 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 



MARCH 1983 



$150 



INDEPENDENT 



Low Power in Long Island: 

The Waiting Game 

• 

Public Sector Pinch 

Nips Indies 




New England Conference 

For Local Indies 

• 

Public Relations Savvy 

For Producers 



ON THE 
GREAT AIRSHIP 

CCESS 

ARTISTS SPAR WITH 
CABLE OPERATORS 




DUART 

'*" OFFERS A FREE 
TAPE-TO-FILM 
TRANSFER 

DuArt Video is taking all the guesswork out of tape-to-film transfers by 

offering a free one minute test of your videotape program to a 16mm negative 

and workprint. We're doing this because we are so confident that once 

you see the results for yourself, you'll want to come back to 

DuArt for all your tape-to-film needs. 

We can turn around a double-system transfer (including a 7247 camera 

original negative, optical track, and a timed, composite answer print) in three 

working days. And if you're in a real hurry, we can even give you a 

composite* 7247 negative with answer print virtually overnight! 

[*Please Note: This single system transfer does not offer optimal sound 

quality as compared with our double system transfer process.] 

Our technical expertise in video is matched by the best full-service film 

laboratory in the East. And all of our services, Laboratory and Video, are 

under one roof, located in convenient Mid-town Manhattan. 

Call Glen Palmer or David Koslow to arrange for your free test transfer. 

Take a look at what your video transfers can look like 

without having to pay for it first! At DuArt Video. 



DU ART VIDEO 



A DIVISION OF DU ART FILM LABORATORIES, INC. 

245 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 (212) 757-3681 

39 Chapel Street, Newton, MA. 02160 (617) 969-0666 




DU ART DOES IT BETTER. 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

MARCH 1983m VOLUMESIX, NUMBER TWO 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Hulser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Bob Brodsky, 

John Greyson, Mary Guzzy, David 

Leitner, Wendy Lidell, Susan Linfield, 

Toni Treadway 

Contributors: Liza Bear, Eric Breitbart, 

Jim Davis, Jace Dawson, Robert I. 

Freedman, Amanda M. Ross, 

Barry Rossnick, Mona Zolotow 

Art Director: John Greyson 

Art Assistant: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typsetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Petcap 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
(FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 
10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of independent 
video and film, and by the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the na- 
tional trade association of independent producers 
and individuals involved in independent video and 
film. Subscription is included with membership in 
AIVF. Together, FIVF and AIVF provide a broad 
range of educational and professional services for in- 
dependents and the general public. Publication of 
The Independent is made possible in part with public 
funds from the New York State Council on the Arts 
and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal 
agency. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by 
our members and supporters. If you have an idea 
for, or wish to contribute, an article to The Indepen- 
dent, contact the Editor at the above address. 

All contents are copyright of the authors and The 
Independent, except where otherwise noted, and 
reprints require written permission from both. ISSN 
0731-5198. 

©FIVF 1983 



AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Ex- 
ecutive Director; Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; John 
Greyson, Media Coordinator; Sol Horwitz, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film 
Showcase Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Piatt, 
Membership Coordinator; Mary Guzzy, Administrative 
Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Robert Richter, 
President; William Greaves, Vice President: Lillian Jimenez, 
Chair; Kathy Kline, Secretary: Matt Clarke, Treasurer: 
Lawrence Sapadin (ex-officio); Daniel Edelman; Pablo 
Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; 
Richard Schmiechen; Thomas Turley. 



A Publication of 

The Foundation for 
Independent Video & Film 

The Association of 
Independent Video & 
Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 



Features 



Artists Aboard the Cables 

Producer Scans NY Use of Public Access Channels • Liza Bear 

How Independent Are "Independents"? 

Public Sector Pinch Is Punch in the Nose to Indie Markets • Jim Davis 

PR: Self-Destruction or Self-Promotion? 

Dos & Don'ts of Tooting Your Own Horn • Eric Breitbart 



Columns 



11 

17 
19 



Media Clips • LPT V Waiting Game on Long Island 

Also: NY Cable Deal; PTV Tackles Jewish Civilization • John Greyson 

In Focus • Interview with Joel DeMott & Jeff Kreines 

Verite Makers Divulge Person-to-Person Shooting Methods • David Leitner 

Field Reports • Northern New England 

Backwoods Indies Gather for Conference, Screenings & Shop Talk • Kathleen Hulser 

Festivals • Sydney, Women's Independent 

Also: 3rd National Latino Film & Video • Wendy Lidell & Amanda M. Ross 

Notices 

Edited by Mary Guzzy 



4 

8 

21 

14 

27 



COVER: A helium head ponders the levity of the noble gas in Mark Magill's 'Lighter than Air, ' part of the Com- 
munications Update cable series produced for public access TV. See Liza Bear's article on producer/cable 
operator relations p. 1 1. Photo: Mark Magill 



CORRESPONDENCE 



G»t the Drift 

Dear Independent: 

Tracking Sounds (December) is an ex- 
cellent, clear and very helpful contribution to 
raising audio consciousness. I would like to 
amplify the techniques explained by Tread- 
way and Brodsky. 

If there are a lot of common sounds be- 
tween the original audio track and the final 
mix, it is possible to make use of the phasing, 
or flanging, effect. The two tracks are fed into 
a mixer, and the levels are set to match as 
closely as possible. The output must be mono. 
Combining the two tracks in this manner will 
cause them to cancel at some frequencies and 
reinforce at other frequencies. The resulting 
sound resembles that of a jet engine. It will 
sound very fluttery and high-pitched when the 
two tracks are running together in perfect 
synch. When there is a drift in speed of only 
several milliseconds, the pitch will slide down 
dramatically. Correcting the drift via variable 
speed will restore the speed to a virtually 
perfect lock to the other track. The sound 
may be monitored through speakers or head- 



MARCH 9 1983 



phones — it doesn't matter which. This 
method provides for a much earlier percep- 
tion of speed drift. Using echo-synch is in- 
herently less accurate because there must be at 
least 22 milliseconds of drift before location 
shifts can be perceived (this is known as the 
Haas effect). I have used the phasing tech- 
nique to transfer a mag track to quarter-inch', 
process it and transfer to a new mag that was 
frame-accurate to the original. 

The authors claim that a mixer is not need- 
ed to do a mixdown "across 4-track 
audiotape," but I'll bet they would notice the 
improvement if they used one. Combining 
tracks with Y-connectors, known as "line 
mixing," produces level losses and inter- 
modulation distortion. The distortion is 
greatest at high levels. A small mixer such as a 
TEAC l is only $150, and cleaner than most 
larger boards. 

Reynold Weidenaar 

The Independent welcomes letters to the 
editors. Send them to FIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York NY 10012. Letters may be edited 
for length and clarity. ■ 

3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



MEDIA CUPS 



Windmill Tilts with FCC's 
LPTV Bureaucracy 



JOHN GREYSON 

January's LPTV Reporter cheerfully pro- 
filed three up-and-running low-power TV sta- 
tions that have recently been licensed by the 
FCC in Minnesota, Tennessee and Virginia. 
Unfortunately, due process with the FCC is a 
state of grace that many can't seem to 
achieve. Take the case of Jill Keefe-Schmitt of 
Easthampton, New York. Lacking any sort of 
media background, she started videotaping 
town board meetings in this tiny Long Island 
community in 1979, because "nobody attend- „ 
ed them. There's only one weekly paper, and <g 
we don't really have local radio coverage. So i 
people don't know what's happening and g 
who's running things." She quickly found she 
had no distribution outlet, since the local 
cable company kept finding ways to deny her 
time on the public access channel. "Then the 
SoHo News came out with the story 'Have 
Your Own TV Station for $30,000.'" Bitten 
like many activists by the LPTV bug, she con- 
vinced Russell Stein, a friend and lawyer, to 
pursue the idea with her under the name 
Windmill Broadcasting. A Washington con- 
ference, a spectrum search and lots of 
technical and financial research followed, and 
they filed their application on the February 
17, 1981 deadline — which later was extended, 
and extended . . . Likewise with the cutoff list 
the following year. 

In the spring of '82, things began to look 
up, because they were the only applicant in 
their region. Windmill was cleared by Land 
Mobile Radio, their engineering was ap- 
proved, they passed through legal and finan- 
cial reviews with flying colors and were 
reportedly ten days away from getting a per- 
mit. Then the axe fell: another applicant for 
the region as discovered. Two days later, a 
third was found. Because they had been 
"covered" (i.e., there were competitors for 
the license), the entire process was frozen, and 
remains frozen today. 

The first "cover" was a farmer in- 
Bridgehampton whose wife had helped Wind- 
mill prepare certain "confidential business 
documents. He had no experience, contact or 
interest prior to that moment... I just think 
he's one of those people who thinks that 
LPTV is going to be big money," says Keefe- 
Schmitt. Harlan Jacobson, publisher of Lo- 
Power Community TV, recently pointed out 
that, under the current FCC application filing 
process, anyone can go in, find a single ap- 
plication for a license, Xerox it, file the copy 



under their own name and effectively block or 
"cover" the first application. The purpose of 
the strategy? "Getting you to pay them 
off — that is, if you want a license within a 
year or two of filing." 

Keefe-Schmitt blames the FCC for this 
open door which encourages abuse, and 
Windmill is suing the farmer. "I think we'll 
win — and force him to withdraw." This 
leaves one other applicant for the region: 




LPTV hopeful Jill Keefe-Schmitt on a shoot 

John Reilly, of Global Village and tne Na- 
tional Institute for Low Power TV. "He's ap- 
plied for twenty other stations, and has a 
house near Easthampton. We've had a num- 
ber of meetings with him and discussed the 
possibility of banding together, since we share 
similar ideas in regard to the programming. 
However, we've decided to go ahead on our 
own, taking our chances. While he has so 
many applications elsewhere, we only have 
this one." 

Keefe-Schmitt and Stein anticipate relying 
heavily on satellite-delivered movies, sports 
and children's programming, concentrating 
their initial efforts on a daily ten-minute news 
show. "I know it doesn't sound like much, 
but there isn't necessarily even that much 
news every day. Later we'd like to cover other 
communities and do round tables with local 
newspaper reporters, for instance. Also 
school festivals, community events, walking 



tours, profiles of artists and writers in the 
community — things that maybe don't par- 
ticularly interest us politically or creatively, 
but that involve people in the community." 
Windmill's license may come up for review 
again through the FCC's lottery process this 
spring. In the meantime, Windmill has put 
Stein's legal experience to work, petitioning 
against opportunistic applicants who crank 
out word processor applications. "A big 
California company applied for four channels 
in a neighboring hamlet, claiming they would 
serve its minority community. This hamlet 
has 279 people, and there's no minority 
population whatsoever. They'd just taken 
their application and, instead of Anaheim, 
typed in Sagaponack. We've petitioned 
against a lot of people; there have been some 
blatantly outrageous ones who are just screw- 
ing up the works." Windmill is considering a 
lawsuit against the FCC as well. "The FCC 
wasn't helpful, because they didn't know 
what they were doing. They were overwhelm- 
ed by the number of applications. At this 
point, we're beyond anger; now we're think- 
ing about demanding some sort of restitution 
on the part of small applicants. Sears can af- 
ford to wait, because they're a functioning 
structure. For the small applicant who's in- 
vested a lot, whether it's out-of-pocket money 
or person-hours, two years is too long to 
wait." 

— John Greyson 



Giving Venture 
Capitalists a Fair Shake 

The cable TV franchising process in New 
York City's outer boroughs appears to be 
entering its last stage. After over a year of 
negotiations (and over five years since the 
process began), the City has finally released a 
draft contract and decided on the companies 
that will divide the rich spoils that a New York 
cable franchise will mean. The wiring process 
is due to begin in mid-summer 1983. 

Virtually all of the negotiations in the past 
year between the City and the cable com- 
panies were conducted in secret by the City's 
Director of Franchises, Morris Tarshis, with 
almost no opportunity for public or com- 
munity input. The City's attitude toward the 
negotiations was summed up by Commis- 
sioner of Economic Development Robert 
Kandel, who chairs the Board of Estimate's 
Cable Working Group: "The companies have 
been trying to squeeze every drop of advan- 
tage, and frankly I think that's the way it 
should be." As one community organizer put 
it: "The deal was cut between the City's 
lawyers and the companies' lawyers. This is 
seen as a technical decision, when in fact it is a 
profound political, economic and philo- 
sophical decision, affecting the life of the city 
and everyone in it for the next fifty years. " At 
a public meeting of the Cable Working Group 
(to discuss the franchise allocation, not the 
provisions of the contract), one speaker 

MARCH mi 983 



QUESTIONS?? 



AATON: 



Cineminima? 



Super-16? 72 fps? 

Clear-Time-Recording? Rental? 
54 fps? Service? 

LED Lightmeter? Video Tap? 

Package Price $ 1 1 ,500.00? 



COOKE: 


9/50? 
10.4/52? 


100 Line Per Millimeter? Rental? 

No Flare? Range Extender 

Service? to 35? 


MISC: 




Tiffen? Fluid Drives? 

Lowel? Century Precision? 

Sachtler? Harrison? 

Angenieux? Blimps for Aaton and SR? 

Chroszeil? Sales? 

Lisand? Rental? 



SERVICE: Lenny Shorr? 

Guy Genin? 



ANSWERS 

1-800-221-3349 

(All 50 States Except NY) 




Enterprises 



250 West 57th Street, N.Y., N.Y. 10019 
(212) 245-1598 Telex: 125-122 




Susan Lazarus & Josh Waletsky managed to finish Image Before My Eyes with $150,000— and air it on PTV. But 
Ch. 13's $6 million series on the Jewish Heritage flounders in the red. 



stressed the "need to give venture capitalists a 
fair shake here." 

At the same meeting (December 2, 1982), 
former Manhattan Borough President Percy 
Sutton raised a number of issues concerning 
minorities and the franchise process. Of the 
2.5 million households to be wired in New 
York, there will be minority ownership or 
control of the franchise for only 177,000 (go- 
ing to Sutton's own company, Queens Inner 
Unity). Sutton also criticized the lack of 
minority representation on any of the 
decision-making bodies, the lack of minority 
input in the franchising process itself, and a 
general lack of concern for both minority and 
broader public input on the negotiations. 
Chairman Kandel's response, inexplicable 
even to most members of the committee, was: 
"Have you no shame to raise this issue? Have 
you no shame, sir?" 

The December CWG meeting began with 
an almost ritualistic revelation of whatever 
contacts a committee member might have had 
with anyone from a cable company. Typical 
confessions included: "I bumped into such- 
and-such from Warner Amex at a conference 
in San Francisco. . .", "I had a drink with 
, but we did not discuss the fran- 
chise...". Chairman Kandel reported: "I 

had drinks with , but I did not swallow 

them." Chief negotiator Tarshis "met with 
everyone and talked with everyone." 

The City released the newly completed 
franchise contract on January 6. Among its 
more progressive provisions is the requirement 
that the systems in each borough be intercon- 
nected, allowing locally generated programs 
to be shown city-, state- or even region-wide. 
The City has also insisted that all four 
boroughs be franchised simultaneously to 
guard against some areas being left unwired. 

The City has not treated access (public, 
leased and municipal) as a priority in its 
negotiations. The CWG determined the allo- 
cation of the various territories to the fran- 
chisees, and treated access, in Tarshis' words, 
as a detail "to be filled out after the Board 
acts and recommends." Willingness to con- 
tribute to public access (or a track record of 
having done so in other cities) was not a 
criterion in evaluating the various franchise 
applicants. 

However, there is still potential in the ac- 
cess provisions as outlined in the draft con- 



tract. The contract calls for a total of five 
video leased channels, five video municipal 
channels and four free access channels in each 
borough. The companies will be required to 
provide production and editing facilities, por- 
table equipment, technical staff and office 
space. All of this will be administered by a 
non-profit Community Access Organization 
(CAO), which will be established under the 
auspices of the Borough Presidents' offices. 
But there is no mention of the amount of 
funding to be made available by the com- 
panies to the CAOs, nor of enforcement of 
these provisions. The structure of the CAOs 
still remains undefined. In addition, the faster 
the City moves on the wiring process, the less 
time the CAOs will have to determine the 
needs of a given community. Questions of 
funding, location of facilities, type of equip- 
ment to purchase etc. may all end up being 
decided by a Borough President acting as a 
trustee for a still-fledgling CAO. 

The structure of the Universal and Basic 
subscription packages, as outlined in the con- 
tract, seems to redefine their accepted defini- 
tions. The low-priced $2 Universal would 
consist of only nine channels — two of the four 
public access channels required for each 
borough, and only two each of the municipal 
and leased channels. In addition, up to four 
of the nine could be printouts (if the company 
so decides). What's unique about this "pack- 
age" is the total absence of "must-carry" 
signals — broadcast channels already available 
in the region. Enhanced reception of these 
channels is the main reason most cable 
customers get wired in the first place; access 
channels may be politically correct, but no 
consumer would buy cable just to receive this 
fare. Barbara Rochman of New York Con- 
cerned Citizens for Responsible Media asserts 
that she has never heard of another "Univer- 
sal" service in the country that excluded 
"must-carry" channels. The package 
becomes meaningless in a marketplace where 
no one will buy it. Borough residents who 
want the "must-carrys," plus other commer- 
cial cable programming services, will have to 
fork out a hefty $12.95 per month for "Basic" 
service.. 

There also seems to be some dispute be- 
tween the cable companies and community 
groups regarding what consitutes access. One 
organizer involved in lobbying the City on 



this issue said, "The cable companies seem to 
think that their own local origination pro- 
grams should count as access. That's not what 
I mean by access." 

The Board of Estimate will hold a public 
meeting in March to discuss the franchises. 
Pressure can be . exerted on the Borough 
Presidents' offices and the State Cable Com- 
mission, which must still approve the City 
contract. Groups involved in lobbying the Ci- 
ty include the New York Concerned Citizens 
for Responsible Media (NYCCRM); contact 
Barbara Rochman, (212) 989-7230. Copies of 
the cable contact are available for study at the 
Bureau of Franchises office in the Municipal 
Building (212) 566-2654, or at the Office of 
Telecommunications: contact Susan Herman, 
(212)566-545. 

— Barry Rossnick 



Civilization 6 
Our Discontents 

Civilization, public television's favorite 
hobbyhorse, has fallen on hard times at New 
York's WNET. Late last year, production on 
WNET's six-million-dollar prestige project 
Heritage: Civilization and the Jews was 
suspended. The series has been described by 
its host, former Israeli foreign minister Abba 
Eban, as a "balanced picture ... of the Jewish 
people over the centuries." It is also an unex- 
pectedly expensive picture. Of the nine 
60-minute and final 90-minute segments of 
the series, only six have been completed, and 
the production is already over budget. Staff 
and crew were laid off, while WNET is 
scrambling for another two million to resur- 
rect its production. 

To independents, the funding and fate of 
Heritage adds insult to injury. Already spent 
are substantial grants from PBS, CPB, NEH, 
as well as a million dollars from the Charles 
Revson Foundation. Now WNET is returning 
to these sources for additional money, and in 
December of last year, prospects of raising 
the extra funds looked "extemely 
promising," according to WNET president 
John Jay Iselin. But good news for Channel, 
13 is bad news for independents, with their 
own vision of Jews and civilization. Com- 
mented Eugene Rosow, producer and direc- 
tor of Routes of Exile: A Moroccan Jewish 
Odyssey, "You go to places likely to fund 
'Jewish media' and you find all the money 
available for that sort of thing has gone to 
Heritage. " 

Rosow's 90-minute documentary was re- 
cently one of 21 films touring major cities in 
the Jewish Film Festival. (The Festival was 
first organized in San Francisco in 1981 by 
Deborah Kaufmann.) It is as eclectic a view of 
Jewish culture as WNET's intellectual trav- 
elogue is formulaic. The success of the AFI- 
sponsored tour, which has played to near- 
capacity houses and had a repeat showing in 
Washington, bears out Kaufmann's dual con- 
viction that Jews have a renewed interest in 
their background and that there is an au- 
dience for independent films. But funding has 

MARCH 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



been scarce. Noted one organizer of the 
Festival, "People say, 'Oh, you're raising 
money for Jewish film. That must be easy.' 
But we've found most establishment Jewish 
organizations to be quite leery of us." This 
contrasts sharply with WNET, which 
reportedly has been contacted by several 
foundations and private corporations offer- 
ing completion funds for the stalled epic. 

The concentration of still more money in 
Heritage borders on scandal, considering the 
waste that bloated the budget from the outset. 
"Administrative costs," according to one 
source, gobbled up 25% of the six and a half 
million already spent. Compare this with two 
films featured in the Jewish Film Festival 
which have already been aired on public TV. 
Pacific Street film's Free Voice of Labor: The 
Jewish Anarchists, and Image Before My 
Eyes, produced by Susan Lazarus and Josh 
Waletsky, were made for $80,000 and 
$150,000 respectively. Rosow's film on 
Moroccan Jews involved many of the same 
production exigencies as the WNET series, 
yet it was completed at a cost of $250,000. 
"We traveled to Morocco twice, to Israel 
twice and to Paris. And you have to 
remember, we weren't just snooting desert 
backgrounds for Abba Eban playing Kenneth 
Clark. They were shooting a scripted 
documentary. We first had to go out and find 
events and then film them." 

Ironically, in 1977, during its initial pro- 
duction phase, Routes of Exile was proposed 
to WNET as part of a series of films on little- 
known Jewish communities in various parts 
of the world. In addition to the Moroccan 
film, documentaries on the Jews of Argen- 
tina, Yemen, Italy, Ethiopia and Iran were 
planned. But WNET replied to Rosow's pro- 
posal with what he calls "the standard public 
television response. They said, 'Thank you, 
but we are considering several projects in this 
area.'" Two years later Rosow first got wind 
of Heritage: Civilization and the Jews. 

As frustrating as the near-fiasco of 
Heritage is to independents, there is a hidden 
logic to the programming decision which con- 
centrated so much funding into one series. In- 
creasingly, public television has turned to the 
repetitive formulas of commercial TV, which 
depend on predictablity, recognizabilty and 
instantly identifiable personalities. These are 
the means by which television, commercial or 
public, creates the all-important habit of 
viewing in its audience. Heritage, starring Ab- 
ba Eban, satisfies all these requirements in 
ways no independent film could. Once again, 
it is the predictable product that attracts the 
funding dollars. — MonaZolotow 



Suspicious Fire 
Kills Media Activist 

Terry Santana, well-known in New York's 
Latin American and media communities as a 
tireless activist and organizer, was killed by a 
fire in her Washington Heights apartment on 
December 4, 1982. The circumstances were 
suspicious: The doors and windows were 
MARCH • 1983 



reportedly secured from inside; a trail of rags 
soaked with flammable fluid evidently led 
from her body to another room; and her 
body, burned so badly that her brother de- 
clined to make a positive identification, was 
unaccountably surrounded by only partially 
burned leaflets and papers, which the police 
confiscated. The FBI/police anti-terrorist 
task forced showed up "within minutes of the 
fire," according to The Daily News, but 
turned over the investigation the same day to 
the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, which 
investigates foreigners suspected of in- 
telligence activities (Cuban-born Santana was 
an American citizen). 

After six weeks, the police and fire depart- 
ments have yet to issue a report, but have 
repeatedly suggested the probability of sui- 
cide, notwithstanding the fact that a friend 
stopped by the apartment an hour before the 
fire and noticed nothing out of the ordinary in 
Santana's behavior. Friends and colleagues, 
gravely concerned about the circumstances of 
Santana's death, have formed a committee to 
monitor the official efforts, challenge the in- 
accurate and sometimes sensationalist media 
accounts (e.g., The Daily News confused the 
FMLN with the FALN), and conduct its own 
investigation. So far, little has been clarified; 
without access to the apartment, police/fire 
reports or videotapes shot by news teams after 
the fire, the counter-investigation aided by 
the Center for Constitutional Rights has not 
progressed. However, one police officer did 
admit that the committee's pressure has kept 
the official investigation open. 

Many progressive activists are deeply con- 
cerned that Santana's death may have been a 
political assassination. Flor Theresa Santana 
moved to Miami from Cuba with her family 
in 1961, and became active in the progressive 
church movement as a protest singer and 
political organizer. Living in New York since 
1969, she turned to journalism and became an 
invaluable source for other reporters on Latin 
American struggles. Her investigations of the 
Cuban right wing, particularly the terrorist 
organizations Omega 7 and Alpha 66, put her 
in the line of fire. In 1981, she was a key 
founder of ES-Info, a news source providing 
accurate information on the struggle in El 
Salvador. When its office closed in 
September, 1982, many of the files were mov- 
ed to her apartment, and it is unclear how 
much of this material was confiscated by the 
police/FBI. 

Santana was also active with the El 
Salvador Film & Video Project, which 
distributed Decision to Win: The First Fruits, 
a compelling documentary that was first 
screened in New York last spring at AIVF. 
Her death has both shocked and saddened the 
many activists, journalists and filmmakers 
who were her friends and associates, and is a 
loss to the entire progressive community. 
Beyond establishing the cause of her death, it 
is vital that her work through ES-Info be con- 
tinued — it would be a double tragedy if the 
legacy of her activism was also laid to rest. 
— John GreysonW 



0)B€ 



VIDEO 



3/. n post- 
74 PRODUCTION 



$ 



20/ $ 25 



JVC SYSTEM 8200 / 88U FADES / COLOR 

CORRECTION / GRAPHICS 

CAMERA / DETAILER / CHARACTER 

GENERATOR / SYNCH GENERATOR 

PRODUCTION SWITCHER 

IN-HOUSE STUDIO PRODUCTION 

DUBS: VHS — U-MATIC — VHS 

SLO-MO / FREEZE / REVERSE / Vz " 

R/R COPIES / COLOR 8650 

AUDIO MIXER / EQUALIZER 

EFP PRODUCTION 

WITH IKEGAMI ITC 730 

PEKART VIDEO 

212 -966 - 7786 



VJDEOL/FE 

Creating 

the Image You Want 

At a Price You Can Afford 



POST-PRODUCTION 



3 /4" EDITING 

• $20/hour with Operator* 
Panasonic Advanced High Performance 

Editing System / For-A Character 
Generator / Fade Box / Audio Mixing 



DUBBING 

• $15/hour* 

x h " and 3 A " 

videotape 



TRANSFERS 

• $20/hour* 

Super 8 to 

Vfe " or 3 A " videotape 



PRODUCTION 



Low-cost Production Packages including 

JVC-2700A Broadcast & Sony 

DXC-1800 Industrial Cameras. Sony 

4800 Recorders, Lowell Lighting Kits, 

Monitors, Microphones & Accessories. 

Operators & Vehicle included. 



VIDEOLIFE 



West Id Street. New York 
(212) (v20O14b 



THE INDEPENDENT 



IN FOCUS 



Lilliputian Hardware 
For Latter-Day Verite 



DAVID LEITNER 

Cinema verite. Direct cinema. Non-fiction 
film. Film critics supplied colorful catch- 
phrases for the radically fresh forms of doc- 
umentary filmmaking that exploded forth as 
the Sixties ushered in quiet, lightweight 16mm 
cameras and V* " tape recorders with shoulder 
straps. With us still are the names that marked 
that era: Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, 
Robert Drew, Albert and David Maysles, 
Fred Wiseman et al. 

But the Sixties have passed, the Seventies 
come and gone. In the meantime, film schools 
have launched waves of independent 
documentary makers schooled in verite 
history. Lilliputian cameras and recorders 
have become the rule rather than the excep- 
tion, and high costs have forced even feature 
film producers into economical, low-light 
shooting styles. In an era when verite tech- 
niques are to be found on prime-time network 
news magazines and personality parades, 
earnest practitioners and thinkers of verite 
tend to get overlooked in the shuffle. 

Two challenging filmmakers who are ac- 
tively defining verite in the present tense are 
Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines of Mont- 
gomery, Alabama. Their last feature, Demon 
Lover Diary (1980), a strange-but-true per- 
sonal account of the collapse of a low-budget 
horror flick and its almost murderous after- 
math, won the 1980 Los Angeles Film Critics' 
Award for best independent feature. But the 
work that is destined to establish their creden- 
tials as among the finest of the current- 
generation documentary producers is the still- 
unreleased black sheep of the PBS "Middle- 
town" flock, Seventeen (cf. The Indepen- 
dent, July/ August 1982). 

Seventeen, shot in the space of a year, is an 
intimate visit in the lives of some of the 
teenagers doing time in one of the less 
prestigious high schools in the Muncie, In- 
diana public school system. DeMott and 
Kreines, later joined by production/editing 
assistant Peter Esmonde, lived in Muncie 
from spring of 1980 through that of 1982 and 
shared in the teenagers' world of unbelievably 
ineffectual teachers, shifting, sometimes in- 
terracial romances, and free-floating working 
class Angst. 

What sets this two-hour verite piece apart 
from others is the degree to which original 
technique and concept contribute to its elo- 
quence and power. Since joining forces at 
MIT in the early Seventies, DeMott and 
Kreines have cut their creative teeth on nine 
films of their own (several of them feature- 
8 



length), and have achieved a singularly per- 
sonal method of shooting documentary film. 
Each filmmaker sports a customized rig 
featuring a non-reflex CP-16 fitted with a 
luminous Leica viewfinder and a pocket- 
sized, reel-to-reel Nagra SN (1/8 " at 3% ips) 
mounted on the side. Each wields a hand-held 
cardioid microphone tethered to the camera 
by an arm's-length cable. And for each, a 
10mm lens is the sole optic. 

The choice of lens is significant. From the 
early days of wet-plate photography, the 
desire to reproduce natural perspective in the 
viewing of a print has led to the convention of 
designating as "normal" a focal length equal 
to the diagonal of the format. In still 
photography, this leads to "normal" 
horizontal angles-of-view of 45-to-60°, 
depending on the shape of the format. With 
motion pictures, the story is different. Early 
cameras were noisy contraptions without 
much mobility; greater working distances 
were required to free up space for the action. 
And in projection, the screen was so distant 
that perspective exaggeration often accom- 
panied the cinematography of lenses in the 45 
to 60° range. In consequence, "normal" focal 
lengths in motion picture photography 
became twice those of still, with a resulting 
range of 20 to 30°. For example, the normal 
focal length in 16mm is 25mm with a horizon- 
tal angle-of-view of 23°, although the 
diagonal of the 16mm frame is 12.7mm. 

The 10mm lens of DeMott and Kreines, 
with its 55° angle-of-view, restores to the 
screen a camera-to-subject distance that mat- 
ches the interpersonal distance necessary to 
achieve a similar field-of-view in real life. In- 
timacy is created, since in order to obtain a 
medium shot, the filmmaker must move 
within what anthropologists who study terr- 
ritoriality call "personal distance." We, the 
audience, quickly accommodate to any 
perspective distortion and proceed to ex- 
perience a naturalistic sense of proximity to 
those filmed. The result is verite without 
voyeurism. 

DA VID LEITNER: You shoot with one lens 
primarily, and it reproduces for the audience 
your visual interaction with subject. 

JOEL DeMOTT: That way you're not con- 
stricted, as with the close-up of a zoom lens. 
Nobody really ever sees a person in that kind 
of bizarre close-up that everyone is so fond 
of. You also feel it's not a zoom; it's not this 



mechanical thing bringing that person onio 
the screen. You feel that someone is shoved 
up against them, or standing back. You really 
do feel where the presence of the filmmaker 
and your response coincide — which is kind of 
neat, because there are some points where 
standing back a little conveys something, and 
there are other points where you're shoving 
yourself up, saying, "Huh! I'm right in there, 
I'm right close, I'm right on top of this!" 

JEFF KREINES: David Ehrenstein, a 
perceptive critic in LA who writes for the 
Herald Examiner, had a good line about 
Demon Lover Diary: "The camera doesn't 
stoop to the cheap shot of zooming in for so- 
called 'significant moments'." 

DL: Your style of shooting very close to your 
subjects and following them without feeling 
the need for detail shots and such — does that 
change your attitude towards the process of 
editing? 

JD: There's no more 1950s film grammar. 
The film says: "This is about people, it's not 
about exteriors." 

DL: But it's more than just a process of 
stringing it together on your part. 

JK: Right, You cut yourself off from certain 
editing techniques that would be used to con- 
dense a scene. You don't find yourself taking 
parts of sentences and using a cutaway to join 
them and make them seem continuous. You 
essentially go for hunks, but that doesn't 
make editing any easier. 

DL: How do you concentrate on taking 
sound and shooting film at the same time? 

JD: Absolutely instinctive. You get to the 
point where it's not a big deal to be miking 
one person and filming someone else. 

JK: It's like rubbing your stomach and pat- 
ting your head. You're going back and forth 
in different directions with your different 
sides. 

DL: Do you monitor the sound as you're tak- 
ing it? 

JK: It's delayed monitoring, so it's not that 
useful. 

JD: If you've been working that long, you 
know how you should be modulating it. You 
know the relationship between the distance 
between the mic and the person's mouth, how 
loud they're talking and what kind of sound 
you're going to get. What's important is that 
when you turn on the camera, the sound goes 
on at the same time. 

JK: They're controlled by the same switch. 
We never run wild sound. 

JD: So when you're ready to shoot, your 
camera's perfectly responsive. You're not sit- 

MARCH 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ting around there, signaling to a sound guy 
and waiting for him to start up five seconds 
later. 

DL: How do you synch up? 

JD: It's really a gem to synch. There's four to 
five frames' difference between the sound and 
the picture. No slates, nothing like that. 

JK: They both hit speed at almost the same 
time. Occasionally, I tap a mic; Joel never 
does. 

JD: It's rude! 

JK: Actually, historically, the biggest 
technical advance that helped us was the 
Nagra SN. Some of my early films were shot 
one-person with a Nagra 4.2 around my 
waist, which is hard. I was stronger then, I 
think. 

DL: Is there a a problem of running out of 
tape? 

JK: No, because you use SN tape [30- 
minute reel] that has 3 [400 '] magazine rolls 
in it. 

DL: You make it much easier than most on 
your subjects by not bringing a lot of lighting. 

JD: There's no lighting. That's why we use 
[Eastman Ektachrome Video News Film] 
7250 [EI 800 when pushed one stop]. That's 
why, when no one else would push 7242 [EI 
125] three stops, we pushed '42 three stops, 
and got really pretty stuff. Stopping to put up 
a light is ludicrous: people go many different 
places. Most people either have families or 
deal with families, and with kids running 
around, we're talking disaster — a health 
hazard. 

JK: Also, there's the psychological effect 
lights have when you turn them off. 

JD: Yes! Everybody is depressed. They feel 
very up when your light is bright. 

JK: A lot of people who use lights don't con- 
sider a minor but important thing. Filming 
people who don't have a lot money, and run- 
ning the lights in their house runs up their 
electricity bill quite a bit. You get into a weird 
financial relationship if you offer to pay it. 
It's strange. 

JD: It makes you look like a charity. 

JK: Or like they're a charity case. So there 
are socioeconomic reasons not to use lights as 
well as political-aesthetic. 

DL: You did employ one interesting lighting 
technique, though. 



JK: The flashlight. That got invented the 
night of the kegger (beer party), because I 
MARCH • 1983 



CDBLEY MUSIC 

THE PRICE 

WILL BE MUSIC 

TO YOUR EARS, 

TOO! 

«T COMPOSITION 

j< ARRANGING 
K ELECTRONIC MUSIC 
\ SOUND EFFECTS 



6 



CIBLI Y MUSIC 

138 EAST 38th ST. 

NEW YORK, NY. 10016 

212 ■ 986 ■ 2219 



Cable Production: What 
Every Arts Organization 
Needs to Know 


©° 


^J0 o 




Of 


Volunteer Lawyers (or ibt* Art* 


Cm 3 O 




-p-w . !■ 



Cable Production 

What Every Arts 
Organization Needs to Know 

A Two-Day Conference on the 
Legal and Business Aspects of 
Cable Production 
$6 plus $1 for postage & handling 

Volunteer Lawyers 

for the Arts 

1560 Broadway, Suite 711 
New York NY 10036 
(212)575-1150 








We don't want to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. We'd like to 

give it to you. ..along with thousands of other one-of-a-kind 

New York City locations. 

The biggest, toughest, most spectacular city in the world is 

also the easiest place on earth to shoot features, 

commercials, and television. 

The reason? Our office. For one-stop production 

information, permits, and problem solving, call us. 

We're good at what we do. And we're free. 

Nancy Littlef ield, Director 

MAYOR'S OFFICE OF FILM, 

THEATRE AND BROADCASTING 

110 West 57th Street 

New York, NY 10019 

(212)489-6710 

A Division of the NYC Office of 

Economic Development 



HEW YORK CITV 



AFFORDABLE QUALITY 

VIDEO 

3/4" Post Production 



20 



HRWITH 
EDITOR 



JVC TAPE HANDLERS •HIGH- 
RESOLUTION CHARACTER GENERATOR 
(BORDERS, DROP SHADOW, ROLL, 
CRAWL, 16-pp MEMORY) «PROC AMP 

(FADES, COLOR CORRECTION) • 
GRAPHIC CAMERAS (KEYER) • LARGE 
EDITING SUITE •VILLAGE LOCATION 



Production 

IKEGAMI 730 

SONY PORTABLE 

LIGHTS, MICS, ETC. 

*4 5 STUDIO (100 SQ. FT.) 
LOW-COST LOCATION PACKAGE 



Va<VII 



UARK 



VIDEO 



THE INDEPENDENT 



212 •533*2056 




thought things were happening outside (and 
they weren't), and I had a flashlight in the car. 
All it is is a 6- volt flashlight, the type with a 
handle, with pieces of typing paper over the 
lens, gaffer-taped to the handle of the cam- 
era. It's so dim that it doesn't blind people, 
and it's not obnoxious. 

JD: What it does is provide a little light for 
fleshtones. 

JK: Just a little, less than a footcandle. 
You're still getting a very underexposed 
original. 

DL: Your viewfinders are unique. 

JD: They're funky. 

JK: Leica makes finders that fit in the ac- 
cessory shoe of a Leica for different-focal- 
length lenses. They're very bright. They're lit- 
tle bitty things physically, but the image is 
huge. 

JD: Bigger than what you get on most 16mm 
cameras. 

JK: Any 16mm camera. They really fill your 
eye up, which is important. You're not peer- 
ing down a tunnel. 

DL: So you shoot non-reflex? 

JD: Yeah, but if you say that, it sounds bad. 
You do about 25 tests, and you know what 
your usual shooting distance is: anywhere 
from 1 Vi to 6 feet. If you align the viewfinder 
properly, you will get the exact equivalent of 
what you will get in your frame from that 
distance. 

JK: We've tried to make the equipment so 
simple that it's really, truly demystified. Our 
cameras are almost like snapshot cameras; so 
you're not there reacting as a technician, but 
as a human being. 

DL: Can they see the expression on your face 
behind that viewfinder? 

JD: Your whole face is visible, not like an or- 
dinary camera with half your face blocked. 

DL: You don't go out of your way to respond 
when someone turns to you and says 
something? 

JD: The old cinema verite approach was that 
when someone turned to you, you didn't res- 
pond at all, because any response constituted 
some influence on the action. But the fact is, 
if you don't respond when someone turns to 
you, then you're saying: "I'm not a human 
being." A human being responds. 

DL: So they can't pretend they aren't being 
filmed. 

JD: In most documentary films, you are ask- 
ing people to act, even if you're asking them 



10 



to act as they do in regular life. And often, 
without it being spoken, the people in the film 
feel that they are not pleasing the people who 
are making the film. Whereas if you film the 
other way, shooting with a 10mm lens and a 
mic a foot from their mouth, you are saying: 
"People are not supposed to pretend that 
you're not there." 

DL: Do you spend a great deal of time getting 
to know the people first? 

JD: No, no, no! 

JK: We're always there with the camera. 

JD: The minute you say there's a separation 
between personal response and camera re- 
sponse, you're in shit. And the minute you set 
up a situation where sometimes you film and 
sometimes you don't, you're in bad shape. 
People have to accept the idea that if they 
want to see you, they are probably going to be 
filmed. Otherwise, people say "Oh God! Now 
we're being filmed. " Then they feel relieved if 
you don't show up with a camera. If they 
don't accept that you're always there with the 
camera — they have that right — then you 
don't film them. 

DL: Who precisely has influenced you, and 
how have you gone further with their con- 
cepts? 

JD: Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and 
Ed Pincus. Those are our sole teachers, 
although John Marshall, who we met only 
once, did have a rubbing effect on us. 

JK: Also Robert Frank. And Pennebaker, 
unlike anybody else, shows you can be playful 
in making a film. 

JD: Yeah. Penny does not have any rules. 
Whatever you feel like doing with your 
camera is perfectly all right, and what makes 
it all right is the fact that if you feel that way, 
it's very expressive. 

DL: At minimum, there need only be one of 
you there shooting? 

JD: Lots of scenes in the film were shot with 
only one of us there. Well over three-quarters 

DL: An adjective that comes to mind when 
I'm watching your film is purist. I noticed 
there aren't any dissolves, nor fades until 
the last shot. Nor do we, I believe, ever hear 
your voice. 

JD: Sure you do ! Real important. A real con- 
scious effort was made to keep it in. It 
establishes that, not only are you there, but 
you are . . . 

JK: ...a participant observer. It's part of 
not pretending you 're not there . ■ 

David Leitner is an independent producer 
who works at DuArt Film Lab in New York. 

MARCH •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ALL ABOARD! 

• 

A SURVEY OF INCENTIVES AND IMPEDIMENTS TO PUBLIC 

CHANNEL USAGE BY NEW YORK ARTISTS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS 

• 

LIZA BEAR 



"All aboard 
Who want to talk 
Who like to talk 
About those problems 
And it's a 
Hard logic 
To follow. ..." 



—David Byrne, 
Tentative Decisions 



1 METAPHORICAL NIGHTMARE 

I hoisted the sail of inquiry, cast loose the 
moorings of preconception and set forth to 
chart the wine-dark sea, the uncharted sea in- 
to which all public channels flow .... Maybe 

1 had imagined that laser-emitting diodes 
would flash with statistics like flares guiding 
the way, that the logic of cause and effect 
would unravel the knots of the status quo, 
the vicious spiral in which New York citizens, 
cable producers or would-be viewers, find 
themselves. But only phosphorescent 
plankton glow, and offshore an executive 
corps of sirens intone a dreadful refrain: no 
ratings no sponsors, no sponsors no show, no 
show no publicity, no publicity no audience, 
no audience no sponsors, no sponsors 
no. . . .The logos for shows that have sunk 
into oblivion, either for lack of support or 
because their mission has been accomplished, 
bob up and down like figureheads. . .A few 
are still sailing on course . . . Divers will not go 
down to search for gold among the wreckage; 
the shows that navigate these waters carry a 
more ephemeral cargo, and the gold is 
elsewhere. 

"...most of the shows are very free-form, 
simple... you know you've got half-an-hour to 
exist in this supercharged atmosphere. . .there's 
one moment that's transcendental and the rest 
is. . ." 

— Mindy Stevenson, on doing Potato Wolf live 

2 THE REAL WORLD 

The requirement for public channels forms 
part of the contract provisions between the 
City of New York and the two companies 
that obtained the franchise, the exclusive 
MARCH •1983 




Mystery witness from Janny Densmore's Algiers 
Killings. While C-Update premiered this expose of New 
Orleans police brutality in 1981, CBS' 60 Minutes 
didn't examine the scandal until January 1983, when 
they obtained footage from Densmore. 




Crime Tales by Robert Burden & Dictelio Cepeda 

franchise, to wire the borough of Manhattan 
for cable service in 1970. Everyone knows 
who they are. The expressed intent of the 
parties to the contract was that "public chan- 
nels should serve as significant source of 
diversified expression . . . free from any con- 
trol by the company as to program con- 
tent. . ." In other words, a unique situation 
on the dial. Since New York, contrary to 
folklore, is not the world and since I am here 
trying to dispel a cobweb of untested assump- 
tions I move a Bic pen from the paper to the 
rotary dial of the telephone. It's a move that 
many don't care to make. The NCTA in 
Washington could provide no data what- 
soever on public channels for the US at large, 
not even a list of major cities that have them 
(a report is in the works) but only the follow- 
ing intelligence: cable TV penetration, 34% 



(up from 21% in '79); number of cable 
systems, 4,700; communities served, 13,062; 
all public channels, 1,018. The New York 
State Cable Commission sent me a survey 
enumerating 212 communities wired for cable 
of which 127, just over half, have public 
channels. However the number of hours per 
week such channels are active varies con- 
siderably, from a few hours per week to 
Manhattan's 190 hours (over several chan- 
nels). By state and national standards, 
Manhattan is lucky. 

3 F.O.B. (FREE ON BOARD) 

The one-hour-per-week time slots on 
Channels C & D are available free of charge 
on a first-come first-served basis. Free of 
charge means you don't, as you do on the 
leased access Channel J, pay for time to have 
the program aired. Producing it is quite 
another matter. The cable company sees this 
as providing a 'free' service to the community 
for which it has to bear the costs of schedul- 
ing some 250 producers a year and transmit- 
ting their shows. Another way to look at it is 
as 10,000 hours of 'free' programming pro- 
vided by the producers to the cable com- 
pany — programming which the producers 
mostly have to finance and for which they 
receive no remuneration. 

"We go on the air at 11 am. 1:30 am is sign-off 
time. Not all the morning hours are filled up. 
We're on an average of 12 hours a day. And 
we're planning to go to 24 hours if that's 
necessary." 

—Wanda Sanchez 
Access Channel Coordinator, MCTV 

Manhattan's heavy public channel usage 
(over 80%) is viewed by the city- 
commissioned Arnold & Porter report, a 
report commissioned on the eve of supposed- 
ly awarding cable franchises to the deprived 
four boroughs, as requiring additional chan- 
nels to be opened up. But the 1972 FCC 
regulations making public channels man- 
datory have long been declared unconstitu- 
tional, and each municipality is on its own to 
negotiate for — and try to enforce — public ac- 
cess requirements. Not to mention the rest of 

11 



THE INDEPENDENT 



the franchise provisions. I doubt whether 
24-hour scheduling will alleviate the demand 
for prime-time slots. 

4 AMMUNITION 

Location: Chairman's office, Black Studies 
Dept., City College, otherwise known as 
Harlem U. Vicki Gholson, former alumna, is 
in the chair. . . 

Dr. Wilfred Cartey: " you must understand 

that the media of this country. . . I mean the 
United States of America. . is not about to give 
ammunition to people of African descent which 
could be used in any instance to challenge maybe 2 
unemployment, challenge police brutality, § 
domination, challenge all of the things that still § 
oppress black peoples. . . the media is not about 2 
to do that.. and it chooses its words, it chooses its y 
people very carefully. 

The cable system shares with the phone 
system the potential for interactive or two- 
way communication for video and computer 
data as well as voice. Unlike the phone 
system, however, here in Manhattan it was 
installed as an operational one-way system, 
and since Manhattan Cable has no immediate 
plans, and probably no distant plans, to 
make two-way a reality, I will stick to the 
one-way traffic. If cable companies see 
themselves more and more as telepublishers 
rather than as merely delivering other 
people's signals (the "common carrier" 
definition), then the public channels obvious- 
ly function as the electronic equivalent of the 
underground press, with the important dif- 
ference that cable's status as a controlled 
monopoly precludes having a choice of 
"distributor" for your product. No choice 
and no effective recourse for deliberate trans- 
gressions such as running classified ads on 
the public channels, an illegal practice. The 
New York State Cable Commission has the 
jurisdiction to impose fines on the cable com- 
panies, but it cannot control their transmis- 
sion rooms, the loci for simple administrative 
errors such as just not transmitting a schedul- 
ed program. Simple, but critical to the pro- 
ducer. 

5 IMMEDIACY 

Clarence Grier, MCTV's valiant local pro- 
ducts supervisor, recently sent out a much- 
needed questionnaire to about 200 active 
public channel producers. Hopefully a good 
response to it will provide crucial data, but in 
the meantime I know of at least half a dozen 
regular weekly slots filled by artists' shows, 
depending on where you draw the line. 
Camera in the Body's Hand, a dancers' 
show. Communications Update, Paper Tiger 
Television (media critique), Potato Wolf, 
SoHo TV (now on Channel 10, the company 
channel), Some New Faces, The Taylor Mead 
Show, The Live! Show. . . The list of show 
titles or even the standard two-line descrip- 
12 



tion scarcely does justice to the numbers or 
the range of work or the level of involvement. 
Since 1 976-1977 probably close to two hun- 
dred of us have either collaborated on or 
made individual programs specifically for 
showing on these and previously scheduled 
series {All Color News, WARC Report, both 
live with tape segments; Nightwatch/Ergo 
and Redcurtain, both of which mainly 
showed Super-8 films transferred). Made 
specifically for television by painters, 
sculptors, peformers, poets and musicians, as 
well as film and videomakers: artists of all 
persuasions. 




Herb Schiller reads the NY Times in Dee Dee Halleck's 
Paper Tiger TV series 

"It's an immediate outlet for trying out perfor- 
mance ideas, set ideas, background ideas, 
reading poetry. ..." 
—Stephen Paul Miller, The Taylor Mead Show 

"I've never performed in front of a live audience 
but performing in front of a camera didn't seem 
at all intimidating. I like the idea of planning as 
much as you can then being spontaneous 

Artists doing something is different from 

non-artists doing it. . You bring something to it 
from all your other visual work. ... It' s a valuable 
experimental medium for everyone; artists 
should bring in more people from outside as 
well. . . . 
—Ellen Cooper, three live shows for Potato Wolf 

"We will not be concentrating on the sensational 
or 'hot' news item but instead will orient our 
coverage toward more common ongoing events 
and situations. Ordinary situations and events, 
by virtue of their commonness, tend to have 
greater social relevance than isolated, extraor- 
dinary occurrences. We make no pretense of ob- 
jectivity. Our subjective slant will be implicity 
conveyed by the colorization of the image, and 
explictly revealed in the editorial segments. The 
information will be accessible and interesting to 
anyone and will in no way be dependent on a 



familiarity with contemporary art history. We are 
addressing the general cable audience. The ar- 
tistic sensibility of the producers will be a 
positive factor in the realization of a program of 
the highest quality." 

—Statement of intent, All Color News, 1977 

Artists use the public channels — real public 
television — because they are the only consis- 
tent media outlet we have. Frequency and 
consistency of output are essential com- 
ponents of cultural impact, the impact of any 
medium. We use them despite certain limiting 
conditions: minimal financing (no ratings no 
sponsors), unreliable transmission, scant 
listings, and snide remarks or the total indif- 
ference of most mass media journalists who 
prefer to, or are encouraged by their editors 
or the owners of the publication to focus on 
the tiny percentage of porn shows (4 out of 
200 producers) at the expense of three years' 
worth of genuine experimental work. At time 
of writing no other weekly or monthly has 
taken up the former SoHo Weekly News' 
modest but useful "Cable Picks." Absent 
listings are ostensibly a policy matter (accor- 
ding to people at the New York Times, for in- 
stance) because "not everyone has cable." 
The same logic evidently does not apply to 
pay cable's prominently featured offerings. 
Outside funding possiblities so far have just 
about been restricted to the small amounts 
dispensed by the invaluable Media Bureau 
and sometimes the Emergency Materials 
Fund, with direct NYSCA support in 1981 to 
"about 50% of the shows that apply.'" For 
regular weekly shows as opposed to 
"specials" (one-time only programs), the 
$200 maximum available last season to 
Potato Wolf or Communications Update is 
considered high by public access standards. 
Out-of-pocket financing still prevails. Hence 
for the Public Channels in general the 
average length of shows is four to six months, 
which gives rise to the common complaint of 
not knowing what's on. . . . 

This state of affairs has generated the 
"production-value" paradox, a dispute 
which should remain a scholastic curiosity 
were it not for the fact that it is too often 
wielded like a policeman's baton for quelling 
an unruly mob. To artists concerned with 
changing the tone and content of television, 
with what is shown or said and how, nuance 
and integrity of presentation are paramount. 
Small budgets become a challenge to stamina 
and ingenuity, and simplicity and economy 
of means are no deterrent to dramatic vitali- 
ty, stylish spectacle or intelligent content. 
While few would shy away from high tech 
(the three-tube camera or on-line editing 
system) when it makes itself available, the 
dominant equation of production value with 
tech dollars does not do justice to a multi- 
faceted concept. There are some signs, 
however, that this attitude is beginning to 
change. 

Artists make books magazines films in- 
tallations transmisions and window displays 

MARCH • 1 983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



as well as lucrative artifacts and trouble for 
the clean boundaries of a category so no one 
should feel queasy that we make television. 
Like other forms and formats for work — and 
like other citizens, children or gospel singers 
or lawyers or activists or opera afi- 
cionados — we use cable to symbolize, to 
amuse, to inform, to perform, to debunk, to 
demystify, to comment, to formally experi- 
ment, to shift gears, to analyze, to reveal, to 
investigate, to instigate an interac- 
tion. . . .Like and unlike. It's the details of 
atittude and sensibility, emphasis and orien- 
tation that distinguish .... 

6 UPSTREAM 

Time: A Wednesday evening after the 7 
o'clock news. The TV dial is set at Channel 
D. The screen shows the underpass of the 
World Trade Center at rush hour. Streams of 
home-bound commuters are hurrying down 
the stairs. William Wegman, wearing waist- 
high rubber wading boots and holding a rod, 
stands in the center of the melee with his back 
to the camera, facing the current. The crowd 
swirls about him like an eddy. 

Passer-by: What's you doin' here? 

Wegman: Huh? 

Passer-by: What's you doing here? 

Wegman: Fishing. 

Passer-by: Fishing what. . .hen heh heh! 

Wegman: You don't have to go all the way uptown 
for good fishing. 

Passer-by: You don't have to do what? 

Wegman: You don't have to go all the way uptown 
for good fishing. 

Passer-by: Why not? 

Wegman: It's great here! 

Another night, same time-slot. The rain 

falls like a monsoon. It's three days before 
the anti-nuclear rally in New York City. A 
baby sleeps on the risers at ETC studios, his 
musical box gramophone plays "London 
Bridge is Falling Down." The character 
generator trips out across the image with 
friendly questions: "How are you? What is 
on your mind?" The studio phone number 
flashes on and off, the phone line in the 
studio is amplified. When it rings, Michael 
McClard answers it. An old man calls. He 
speaks in a kind of sing-song. His voice has a 
strange manic tone, almost cracking up. 

—How come we're looking at the baby? 

—Because the baby is nice to look at. 

—Yes, but is that supposed to signify something? 

—Well, yes of course, there are all sorts of. . . 

—I want to look at you! 

The camera starts to tilt up. 
MARCH* 1983 



—Up, up, up! Move the camera up! No, 
don't. . there's the horsey. . there's the bot- 
tle. . there's the kid. . but where are you? 

—I'm operating the camera. 

—Oh, that makes sense {laughs). Can I ask you 
another question? 

-Yeah. 

—Do I have the intelligence of a frisbee? 




Ellen Cooper does some April fooling in Potato Wolf 
series 

-At least! 

—Oh okay, thank you. (Hangs up, apparently 

relieved). 

7 IMPORTANCE 

I talked with Mark Magill, producer of 
Lighter Than Air, a funny, gentle tribute to 
helium gas and other physical phenomena 
that debuted on C-Update, and of the forth- 
coming Theory of Ideas, to be shown later on 
in the cable season. 

—How important is public access to you? 

—Well, it's been the best thing that ever hap- 
pened to me, showing on public access. 

-Really! Why? 

—It's made everything I do more real. It's a real 
incentive. 

—The prospect of a home-viewing audience? 

—Yes. Not having to deal with them, for one 
thing. . . People other than my friends. . . The 
broad spectrum of human existence ... Total 
strangers. . .You don't get that in a normal video 
viewing situation . . . 



While the random element of the home 
audience is appealing, it's a factor shared to a 
certain extent with museum audiences and 
even more so with night club audiences which 
accommodate increasing amounts of video 
within their premises. But the comfort of the 
home-viewer is unique. The lack of public 
cable viewing spaces for those whose 
buildings aren't wired (most artists & poor 
people) deprive many of the feedback which 
is normally an accepted consequence of 
showing work to the world. The situation is 
further exacerbated by the fact that On 
Cable, MCTV's monthly house organ, has an 
exclusive contract for public access listings. 
Space allotment being minimal, no informa- 
tion can be provided on a particular week's 
program and in any case very few producers 
have the kind of financing required for 
elaborate advance scheduling. 

8 "The single most active, affluent au- 
dience available anywhere" 

From a phone call to the US Census 
Bureau I learned that there were 704,259 
registered households in the borough of 
Manhattan. Multiply by 1.96, they said, to 
find out how many people live here. It's good 
to know exactly what your potential audience 
might be. The Office of Telecommunica- 
tions, 40 Worth Street, Room 716, directed 
by a Mr. Leonard Cohen, former chief 
engineer for Teleprompter (now owned by 
Group W), the company that wired the nor- 
thern part of Manhattan, was recommended 
to me as the most reliable source of informa- 
tion, the most accurate statistics, on any 
aspect of cable TV in this town. The O of T is 
the regulator of the two cable companies. No 
appointment is necessay, so ... I found the 
subscriber count filed by Manhattan Cable 
for July 1982: 145,455 households for basic 
service. Group W's is 75,440. Making a total 
of 220,895. The proportion of wired homes 
in Manhattan is therefore slightly over a 
third. This could be hailed as a solid achieve- 
ment for an industry which has only been 
around for just over a decade (a tenth as long 
as the phone company) were it not for the 
revealing audience profile provided on 
MCTV's canary yellow classified ads 
brochure. Revealing of their wiring priorities. 

AUDIENCE PROFILE 



Young 


Median Age 36.3 




56% Male, 44% Female 


Largely Single 


38% Married, 40% Single 




Number of People per Household 

2.2 

62% College Graduates/Post 


Educated 




Graduates 


Successful 


67% Professionals/Managerial 


Affluent 


Average Yearly Income $57,000 




Median Yearly Income $43,200 




Average Monthly Rent $558 




30% Own Their Homes/Apartments 




Average Value of Home $174,000 


Big Spenders 


70% have American Express, Carte 




Blanche or Diner's Club Cards 




50% Dine out more than ten times a 




month 



13 



THE INDEPENDENT 



INDEPENDENT 

UNITED 

AT THE SAME TIME ? 



As an independent video or filmmaker, you've 
decided to work "outside the system"— which 
means you need a community of peers even more. 
The Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 
(AIVF) is such a community. As the national trade 
association for independent producers, AIVF 
represents your needs and goals to government, 
industry and the general public. After eight years of 
testifying before Congress, lobbying the public TV 
system, and working through media coalitions to 
preserve and strengthen cable access, we've 
proven that together we have a voice people must & 
do listen to. 

Along with our sister organization, the Foundation 
for Independent Video & Film (FIVF), we also offer 
you a wealth of concrete services: 
* Comprehensive health insurance at affordable 
rates * The Independent Magazine, our film & 
video monthly * FIVF's Festival Bureau, providing 
foreign & domestic liaison * Comprehensive 
information services * National Membership 
Directory listing * Professional Screenings & 
Seminars 



INDEPENDENT 



)few tours 
iAntntutt 




There's 
Strength in 
Numbers. . . 

JOIN TODAY! 

□$25/yr Individual 
U$15/yr Student with ID 
□$50/yr Organization 
Add $10 Outside US & Canada 



NAME. 



ADDRESS . 



CITY/STATE/ZIP . 



L : 



14 



Send check or money order to: AIVF, 625 Broadway, (between 
Bleecker & Houston) 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Drop by our 
offices or call (212) 473-3400. 



68% Attend the theater at least 
once a month 

38% Entertain in their homes at 
least once a week 
85% Own stereos 
20% Own videotape recorders 
On the Move 52% Own a car 

22% Own a foreign-made car 
38% Rented a car in the past year 
40% Travelled by plane in the past 
year 

40% Travelled by plane outside the 
U.S. 
Sources. Beta Research Study 1981 and RMH Research Study, 1981 

However, as usual, the information cuts 
both ways. It should be a a great incentive to 
commercial sponsors of programs. 

9 UNIVERSAL SERVICE: WHY NOT? 

Section 1 (h) of the 1970 franchise contract 
reads as follows: "Residential subscriber 
means a purchaser of any service delivered 
over the system to an individual dwelling unit 
[my ital.] where the service is not to be util- 
ized in connection with a business, trade or 
profession." Although thousands of Lower 
East Side, Tribeca & Little Italy inhabitants 
meet the above criteria, it is a commonly held 
belief that residential cable service is not 
available in low-income, low-density neigh- 
borhoods. I talked to Stephen Torton, a 
fellow producer living in the Far East of the 
Lower East Side whose video oeuvre has 
premiered on Channel D (City Information 
in Dub, a study of the City's computers; 
Empty Space is Never Wasted Space, an ex- 
pose of the Woodhull Hospital and an essay 
on architectural values, and Watch Being 
Watched, a visual narrative about 
surveillance). 

—What did Manhattan Cable say when you asked 
for service? 

—That there was a waiting list. . we were on it. 

—How long ago was that? 

—Oh, (maybe) six months. 

—And have they gotten back to you? 

—No, because we're in a bad position because 
this is a City building. And they said that because 
of a "technicality," nobody in City buildings can 
get wired right now. . . ATC (American Television 
& Communications Corp., MCTV's parent com- 
pany, itself owned by Time, Inc.) didn't like the 
contract relating to the insurance for the installers 
of the cable. 

The engineering department at MCTV 
referred me back to Susan C. Greene, VP for 
Corporate Affairs. Susan Greene is a lawyer, 
was formerly with Children's Television 
Workshop, headed an FCC task force on 
children's television and was also with the 
Urban Institute, a think tank like Brookings 
and others. A big operation. At one point 
they had a cable advisory service. It's good to 
know who you're talking to. 

—What percentage of the franchise area is wired? 
—Practically the whole franchise area is wired. 



If you're a producer, when you do a mail- 
ing to announce your new cable TV season, 
rule out all the addresses with 10001, 10002, 
10003 zip codes. 

—I know hundreds of people on the Lower East 
Side, Tribeca and Little Italy who don't have 
cable. 

—Well, there are problems there. We've wired 
what can be wired. In some instances it's a case 
of loft conversions (with no) residential c of o, and 
we don't wire until there is . . . You're going to find 
that in any transitional neighborhood going from 
commercial to residential. There are also situa- 
tions where we cannot get access either into the 
block or the building. . and those are tough 
ones, and they tend to be in those areas. We can- 
not get into a street unless we have the approval 
of the building owner to place our equipment in 
that building so that we uan bring cable down the 
street 

—What percentage of the Lower East Side is 
wired? 

—I told you, the entire system is built with the ex- 
ception of about 2%, which (is) all the kind of dif- 
ficulty I have just explained to you. . . 

There is some discrepancy between this 
percentage and the one I established by 
dividing the total number of households by 
the subscriber count, but maybe the cable 
company uses the term "wired" in a technical 
sense that I am not familiar with. I pursue the 
subject with filmmaker George Stoney, 
whose cable show, NYU Presents, was 
recently pre-empted for a commercially spon- 
sored program on baby foods. Pre-emption, 
with or without the requisite one-month prior 
notification, is one of the hazards of public 
channel programming. Its frequency during 
early evening hours (as much as twice in one 
month) confirms the Arnold & Porter view 
that another public channel should be ac- 
tivated. In this instance, a Channel J show 
was inadvertently run on Channel D. 

"It was our mistake. Mistakes do occur. We try 
to keep them to a minimum." 

— MCTV, Corporate Affairs. 

In my dealings with successive public ac- 
cess coordinators at MCTV over a period of 
five years, I have found them to be hard- 
working, very helpful — and mostly impossi- 
ble to reach. Mistakes due to overwork, 
however, do not quite explain why classified 
ads are run on public channels. 

—I'm trying to find out how close we are to 
universal service. 

—You're using universal service incorrectly 
there. 

-Oh? 

—You mean, to having the whole place wired so 
that people could have it if they wanted it? 

-No. 

MARCH 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



—You know, universal service means that 
everybody is provided with cable the way they're 
provided with water and light. That's very dif- 
ferent from what you're talking about. 

—Well, I'm talking about it like the telephone 
company. Anyone who wants the telephone can 
get it if they pay for it. 

-Yes. 

—I assume cable is more comparable to telephone 
than to water and electricity. 
—Yes. Now we are a very long way from com- 
pletely wiring the city. And I suspect a good part 
of it is obstinate landlords...! don't see any 
reason why they haven't gone into many blocks 
that would be rich for them . . . 

10 "I'm going to talk 
As much as I want 
I'm going to give 
The problem to you . . . 
Views confuse 
Describe what I found" 

—David Byrne, Tentative Decisions 

To a media activist friend: 

—Do you think they're going to try and squeeze 

out the public channels? 

—Absolutely. 

—Even in Manhattan? 

—Well, they will not be able to squeeze them out 
around here. You know what they've done to 
leased access already. They're raised the rates 
outrageously. 

-To what? 

—It depends how long you've been around pro- 
ducing. Haven't you been up to the 10th floor 
recently? On the wall there's a little chart as to 
what you pay. 

The 10th floor at 120 East 23rd Street 
houses the tape libary to which producers 
bicycle their tapes, a week ahead of air date. 
Unless they go on live. The ability to go on 
live, on the phone, which has many advan- 
tages for audience feedback or participation, 
demands that you be at what's called a live 
injection point, a studio that is "hard-wired" 
to the company's transmission room. The 
franchise contract stipulated that there 
should be one l.i.p. per community planning 
district in Manhattan — at least — as well as at 
every hospital, fire station, school day care 
center that requested it ... . 

Same media activist friend. (Long, low chuckle) 
"Leonard is supposed to have that list too. ... " 

While a number of video performance 
venues downtown have periodically lobbied 
for the installation of live origination 
capability at their premises, to date 
downtown still has no such thing. MERC 
(Young Filmakers) is still hopeful. There are 
five live studios in the MCTV franchise area 
which lies south of West 79 on the West Side 
and south of East 86 on the East. They are: 
MARCH 9 1983 



Automation House (the most expensively 
equipped); ETC, a veteran pioneering effort 
run by James Chladek, himself the producer 
of a very informative Sunday night call-in 
show and the most used of the five; Com- 
munity Film Workshop in the fifties; and two 
places called ELA and Vidlo studios that I 
am not familiar with. A request for the in- 
stallation of basic 'one-way' service at ABC 
No Rio, an artist workshop/show space on 
Rivington Street, a block away from a public 
high school that is wired, was evaluated by 
MCTV's engineering department at "$4,000 
and some very heavy change." Mike Botein, 
communications lawyer, often a cable fran- 
chise consultant and now also producer of 
Communications Law Review, was given a 
quote of $20,000 for the cost of an l.i.p. at 
the New York Law School, also very close to 
MCTV's trunk line. 

I asked Mike Botein about the certificate 
of occupancy requirement Susan Greene, 
MCTV, had mentioned as a condition for 
wiring. 

—I don't see why, it's not part of the contract. It 
could be a regulation promulgated by the Bureau 
of Franchises. I'd check that. . . . 

PS: THE FRANCHISE FEE- 
A SUGGESTION 

A group of videomakers known as Asian 
Cine-Vision provides prime-time daily 
Chinese language programming (Chinese 
Cable TV) consisting of "news, art, culture." 
Because it fills a special need (the majority of 
Chinatown does not speak English, goes only 
to Chinese movies and only watches TV in 
Chinese) this program goes out for free on 
Channel M, a leased access channel. The pro- 
ducers claim that their audience subscribes to 
cable only in order to watch this program, 
and yet there is no Chinese-speaking person 
at the cable company . . . Perhaps a percen- 
tage of the franchise fee — 5% of gross 
revenues from residential service, 10% from 
commercial service — paid to the City could 
be redirected to support public channel pro- 
gramming . . . New York, October 1982 ■ 

Liza Bear's Oued Nefifik: A Foreign Movie 
was shown last fall by Anthology Film Ar- 
chives. She is executive producer of Com- 
munications Update. 



Artists' TV in NYC 



• Camera in the Body's Hand/Channel 
C/Thursdays, 12 pm 

• Communications Update/Channel 

D/Wednesdays, 7:30 pm/Fridays, 3 pm 

• Paper Tiger Television/Channel D/Wednesdays, 
8:30 pm/Thursdays, 4 pm 

• Potato Wolf/Channel D/Tuesdays, 12:00 am 

• Some New Faces/Channel C/Thursdays, 5:30 
pm 

•The Live! Show/Channel J/Fridays, 11 
pm/future uncertain 

• The Taylor Mead Show/no longer on the air 

Public Access: (212) 598-7274 





LOWEL OMNI & LOWEL TOTA ARE 
VERY DIFFERENT LIGHTS, BUT THEY 
WORK TOGETHER BRILLIANTLY 
YOU CAN USE EVERY TOTA ACCES- 
SORY WITH THE OMNI-LIGHT. 
PROFESSIONALS^ THEM. 

LOWEL-LIGHT MFG., INC., 475 TENTH 
AVE. NY, NY 10018. 212-947-0950. 
LOWEL WEST 3407 W. OLIVE AVE. 
BURBANK, CA. 91505. 213-846-7740 



IE' 



^— 


IKEGAMI ITC 730 


o 


3/4" package 


5 


$600 day 




PANASONIC 3800 


oo 

lljCv 


Beta 1 package 
$50 hr 




BETA OFF-LINE 
Editing $15 hr 



INTELLIGENT 
REALISTIC 
PRODUCTION 
SERVICES 



174 SPRING ST 
NYC, NY 10012 
(212) 966-2971 



16 




N I X - B 



B 



Award winning American films 

Finest foreign productions 

All lengths, genres & subject areas 

Let us be your television/non-theatrical representatives 






waffi! 

- 



I ' ''"./.'ft--'"' '•'.v ; 



S^°„/ 



<tf> 


















^■H 









THE INDEPENDENT 



How Independent 
Are "Independents"? 

• 

The recession & the Feds' penny-pinching policies are 

gripping indies in a double squeeze play — cramping production 

& distribution. A survey of current trickle-down distress. 



The very nature of independent production 
and distribution suggests its public quality; in 
fact, it's impossible to talk about production 
and distribution without referring to the 
public resources that underwrite much of this 
activity. The public sector is, of course, in- 
tertwined with the private, and as the econo- 
my posts its highest unemployment figures 
since World War II and industrial production 
drops to below 70% of capacity, filmmakers 
are feeling the pinch. The impact of the 
depression (or whatever euphemism you 
choose to apply to the current economic 
situation) on independent filmmakers is all 
the greater because of federal policies which 
shift tax money from human services to 
military spending. A look at the individual 
elements of independent film production 
demonstrates how the widespread economic 
disarray is affecting independent film activity 
in some not-so-obvious ways. 

On the production end, independents are 
already well into Austerityville, as federal 
funding of such major sources as the NEA 
and NEH drops 10 and 14 percent respective- 
ly. The ripple effects of the drought in 
"seed" money are also being keenly felt as in- 
dies call upon secondary funding sources 
such as foundations, which base their con- 
tributions on the "seal of approval" dollars 
given by federal and local entities. 

The damage doesn't stop there, however. 
Cuts in government funding have a ricochet 
effect on corporate funding, as well. As John 
Friedman points out in a recent In These 
Times article, "once an organization receives 
a grant from the arts or humanities en- 
dowments, it is easier to raise money from 
the corporations." Friedman goes on to 
quote Anne Murphy (director of the 
American Arts Alliance), who says that if 
members of the business community believe 
that the "government doesn't think support 
is important, they don't think it is either." 

As for the distribution end, the major 
markets for independents are again subsidiz- 
ed by tax money. Public television provides a 
major outlet for independent work. Outside 
of a handful of art theatres in large cities, the 
bulk of public screenings of independent 
work are through such government- 
subsidized, non-profit institutions as regional 
MARCH •1933 



JIM DAVIS 

art centers and universities. The "non- 
theatrical market," which primarily includes 
school and college classroom use, churches, 
museums and public libraries is almost ex- 
clusively government-financed through local 
and state taxes. 

Cuts in federal education titles have 
adversely affected colleges, schools and 
libraries. Cuts in federal aid to the states have 
caused localities to shift money away from 
cultural activities into more immediately 
pressing areas. Michigan and Ohio, for ex- 
ample, have both cut back their original fun- 
ding appropriations for their state arts coun- 
cils. 

To compound funding problems, local tax 
initiatives like Proposition 13 in California 
and Proposition Two-and-a-half in 
Massachusetts, along with property tax 
abatement programs, have put a strain on 
state and local governments' ability to pro- 
vide public services. Add to this declining tax 
revenues due to a drop in employment and 
income, and a gloomy picture begins to 
emerge. 



"The whole industry is in a depression," 
says Nadine Covert, executive director of the 
Educational Film Library Association, in 
describing the non-theatrical arena. "Many 
distribution companies are going out of 
business or merging. Many institutions are 
experiencing severe budget cuts, and some 
film libraries are even closing down. " 

Case in point: The Detroit Public Library 
has closed its film library, while the Henry 
Ford Centennial Library in nearby Dearborn, 
once one of the country's major film collec- 
tions, has curbed acquisition of new films 
and stopped its public programs. 

This squeezed market for film has especial- 
ly hurt the distribution companies. Non- 
theatrical distribution, like most industries, is 
dominated by a handful of companies. "Pro- 
bably [only] ten companies get 70 cents of 
every dollar spent on film in the non- 
theatrical marketplace," says Mitchell Block, 
head of Direct Cinema Limited, a 16mm 
distribution company. While the figures 
show acquisition budgets are up, Block says 
that after inflation, in real dollars, less 



: t~: 




17 



THE INDEPENDENT 



1.5 

pounds 




3.75 pounds 9.35 x 1 .87 x 6.6" 

Conversions by THE FILM GROUP 



Nizo cameras 

Nizo6080 1:1.4/7-80 mm lens 
Nizo 801 macro 1:1.8/7-80 mm 
Nizo integral 7 1 .1.2 : 7 — 50 mm 
Nizo integral 5 1:1.2 : 8 — 40 mm 



SENNHEISER GOKO ELMO 

AKG OBYTEC A-T MICS 

SONY BOLEX MILLER 

UHER BEAULIEU NIZO 

JVC Bogen SANKYO 

LOWEL-LIGHT SPECTRA 

WIDELUX 



JAC 



'ARPENTER (CINE) 

P.O. BOX 1321 
MEADVILLE, PA 16335-0821 



the LIBRARY of 

SPECIXL EFX 



60 min. Video $ 300. = 
Unlimited Use/Broadcast rights 



DARINO FILMS (212) 228-4024 



TITLES ■ CREDITS 
OPTICALS • EFFECTS 



COMPUTERIZED 
ANIMATION STAND 



STREAKS ■ STROBES 
SLIDES TO FILM 



DARINO FILMS 
222 PARK AVE. SOUTH 
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 
(212) 2284024 



money is being spent by the non-theatrical 
market on buying film. "The same customers 
with the same dollars are buying fewer films 
which are costing more." 

Vince Hope, publisher of Hope Reports, 
an audiovisual industry newsletter, says the 
educational market has been soft since the 
mid-70s. Using 1972 spending as a base line 
of 100, he pegs 1982 educational spending at 
112. But inflation, using the same scale, has 
grown to over 200 over the same period, 
showing the relative decline of educational 
spending. Hope points out, though, a dra- 
matic increase in the size of the business and 
industry market, as well as an absolute 
growth in production work, even after infla- 
tion. 

SHA KE- OUT OF DISTRIBUTORS 

As one result, media distributors had a 
higher turnover rate in 1982 than in the 
'74-'75 recession, and, since 1972, the 
number of media distribution companies has 
actually declined. (Turnovers, Hope ex- 
plains, refers to company closings, mergers, 
acquisitions and bankruptcies.) Some of the 
more notable acquisitions include Audio 
Brandon-MacMillan by Films Inc., BFA by 
Phoenix, and Centron and Coronet-Per- 
spectives by Esquire. For independents, this 
means fewer distribution outlets and, with 
shrinking, acquisition dollars, a narrowing of 
the kinds of films considered marketable. 

"Schools are going for the hard-core 
didactic film, cutting back on the cultural 
enrichment film," says Leo Dratfield, who is 
currently a consultant to Films Inc. and First 
Run Features, and has worked in the non- 
theatrical area for almost 40 years. "Public 
libraries, which have been the bulwark of the 
documentary market, are being hurt. They're 
being more selective." 

In the late '60s and '70s, when there was a 
flood of federal dollars and a relatively 
healthy and expanding economy, Covert says 
that "librarians were buying everything. As 
the federal dollars began to dry up, institu- 
tions had to decide where their priorities 
should go." 

As the cost of maintaining collections goes 
up and the competition for budget dollars in- 
tensifies, librarians' choices are subjected to 
even more intense scrutiny, with the usual 
yardstick being maximum use. This leads to a 
catering to those titles which meet current 
tastes and are therefore in high demand. The 
personal film, the experimental film, the long 
film (often anything over 30 minutes) and the 
issue-oriented film are increasingly difficult 
to market. A side aspect of this phenomenon 
is that, with staff cuts and reulting increase in 
workload, librarians are now rarely able to 
devote the time to cultivating an audience for 
an esoteric film. 

How important is the non-theatrical 
market to independent filmmakers? Block 
describes it as "not the entree, but an impor- 
tan vegetable." If a program is funded for 
production, either by foundation or govern- 



ment or public television money, the non- 
theatrical income is gravy. Non-theatrical 
distribution becomes much more decisive if 
the filmmaker expects to recoup production 
costs from the non-theatrical income. 

Susan Ryan of First Run Features thinks 
theatrical distribution is "not a totally 
depressing situation. But a lot of established 
repertory theatres are not as adventurous as 
they should be. They're not as willing to take 
the chances they were a few years ago." First 
Run Features has released a number of 
feature-length independent films, and has 
made a concerted effort to open up theatrical 
venues to independent product. The prob- 
lems here are due to rising costs on the part 
of private theatre owners, but at the "semi- 
theatrical" outlets — the college film societies 
and museums and art centers — budget cuts 
also have taken their toll. Ryan describes 
these outlets as "extremely important for in- 
dependent film. Without them, independent 
films would not get nearly the amount of ex- 
posure that they do." 

CHALLENGE 

This rather bleak situation poses several 
challenges for independent filmmakers in- 
terested in surviving as independents. We 
have seen how critical public -resources are 
for the independent film circuit. The alloca- 
tion of those resources needs to be very much 
a part of the public agenda — that is, the 
political agenda. And it is very unlikely that 
anyone besides independent filmmakers will 
make sure that the issue is put there. 

Second, while the nature of independent 
production lends itself to an attitude of the 
individual entrepreneur, out-there-making-it- 
on-your-own, independent filmmakers are 
intimately tied together by a funding/ 
distribution system and a variety of common 
needs. Only by breaking out of their atomiza- 
tion and acting together can independents 
hope to have any effect on their situation. 

Independent filmmakers are by no means 
unique in their situation. In virtually every in- 
dustry, people are being asked to make con- 
cessions in the workplace, or in the services 
available to them in their communities. And, 
as in other industries, independents too must 
rise to the challenge — or inevitably sink. ■ 

Jim Davis is director of sales and 
marketing at Icarus Films, a distribution 
company. 



AIVF REGRETS 

AIVF regrets to announce that its plans to 
publish a Membership Directory have been 
canceled due to insufficient advertising sales. 
We had hoped to be able to offer this publica- 
tion free to all members, as well as to pro- 
grammers, exhibitors and potential 
employers. 

We remain committed to this project as 
both a job referral and an organizing tool. We 
will try again, perhaps in a less ambitious for- 
mat, as soon as we are able. 



18 



MARCH • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PR: Self'Promotion 
Or Self-Destruction ? 

• 

Operating as your own town crier can trip up the 
uninitiated, but every indie must do it sometimes. A guide 
to the well-groomed press release & other crucial matters. 



As the economic climate for independent 
film grows colder, it might be wise to 
remember that military adage (slightly 
modified): when the going gets tough, the 
tough get public relations counselors. 

Public relations, or PR as it is commonly 
called, is unjustly regarded as the domain of 
big business, a psychological war carried on 
by well-tailored mercenaries ironing out the 
creases in the fabric of public opinion. It's ac- 
tually a useful tool for small business as well, 
and an integral part of our national history: 
remember the Boston Tea Party. 

Modern public relations was founded by 
men like Ivy Lee (dubbed "Poison Ivy" by 
Upton Sinclair), who refurbished the Rocke- 
feller family image after striking miners and 
their families were killed at Ludlow in 1913; 
George Creel, director of the massive cam- 
paign to sell World War I to the American 
people; and Edward Bernays, author of 
books like Crystallizing Public Opinion and 
Engineering Public Consent (the titles speak 
for themselves). For many years, public rela- 
tions consisted primarily of the fabrication 
and placement of favorable newspaper and 
magazine stories. Today, PR practitioners are 
found not only in large companies, but also in 
local social service and arts agencies and in the 
US government, which uses PR campaigns to 
sell everything from postage stamps to 
military enlistments. 

Basically, public relations is the creation of 
a climate of opinion (usually a favorable one) 
among a public about a product, an institu- 
tion or an idea. It's telling people what you 
do; but whom do you tell? and what do you 
tell them? To make matters more com- 
plicated, independent filmmakers are often 
presenting ideas, products and an institution 
(if one can call independent filmmaking that) 
at the same time. The least productive ap- 
proach is to say, "Hey, filmmaking's tough 
enough. I can't deal with that too," or "I'll 
wait until the film is done and let my 
distributor deal with it." Public relations 
should be an ongoing process that begins 
before the film is made, not a Band-aid to be 
tagged on afterwards. 

Public relations begins with information: 
Does my film have a public? Who are they? 
What associations do they belong to? What 
MARCH • 1983 



ERIC BREITBART 

do they read? Where do they congregate? Do 
they use films? If they do, are they likely to 
use mine? As a product of the pre-television 
generation, I still get a lot of my information 
from books and libraries. Two basic books 
I've found helpful are Barzun and Graff's 
The Modern Researcher and Alden Todd's 
Finding Facts Fast. Though intended for 
graduate students, MR contains a wealth of 
information on method, organization and 
writing; FFF is the best low-priced informa- 
tion guide I've seen. A third, higher-priced 
book, found in most research libraries, is the 
Directory of Directories. 

WORKING THE ASSOCIA TIONS 

Americans are joiners, and if your film is 
about something, chances are there's an 
association and publication to contact. 
Sources for this information include: The 
Encyclopedia of Associations (Gale 
Publishing Co.), Ayer's Guide to Periodicals 
(Ayer Press, Bala Cynwyd, PA) and Editor 
and Publisher Yearbook. In addition, Ox- 
bridge Communications in New York 



publishes a Directory of Newsletters, listing 
over 5,000 newsletters in 145 categories. In- 
dependent filmmakers are unlikely to be in a 
position to purchase these directories, since 
they are priced in the $50-$ 100 range and are 
revised yearly. But most of them are available 
in the larger public libraries, and in specializ- 
ed business libraries, such as the Public Rela- 
tions Society's center in New York, which is 
open for reference purposes to non-members. 
With the proliferation of computers, most of 
these lists are also available as printouts in 
various label formats. 

Filmmakers who do their own distribution 
soon become mailing-list junkies, guarding 
preferred contact lists with the zeal of Gold 
Rush miners. Postcards and press releases are 
dutifully sent to writers and critics who, 
in the New York area at least, rarely have time 
or space to review an independent film, even 
if it is being shown in a public screening. 
Reviews, however, are only one form of 
publicity. The public relations "arts" include 
the placement of feature articles and the link- 
ing of products such as films to events which 
may generate publicity. 




THE INDEPENDENT 



COMPLETE 

VIDEO 

SERVICES 



PRODUCTION PACKAGE 

NEW JVC 1900 CAMERA W/ JVC 4400 

RECORDER, SENNHEISER & TRAM, 

MICROPHONES, LOWEL-D LIGHTS 

MILLER TRIPOD W/ TECHNICIAN 



POST-PRODUCTION 

JVC %" & NEW VHS TAPE HANDLER, W/ 

CHARACTER GENERATOR, GRAPHICS CAMERA, 

COLORIZER/KEYER, PROC AMP, 6 CHANNEL 

STEREO MIXER W/ GRAPHIC EQUALIZER 



TECHNICAL CONSULTATION & 

COORDINATION OF ALL PRODUCTION 

& POST-PRODUCTION NEEDS. 

HOUGH-CUT 

VIDEO SERVICES 

212-242-1914 



SUSAN 
BODINE 

ESQ. 

• 

PROVIDING 

REASONABLY PRICED 

QUALITY 

LEGAL SERVICES 

IN THE ENTERTAINMENT AREA 

AND TO THE 

INDEPENDENT HLM & VIDEO 

COMMUNITY 

NO CHARGE FOR 
INITIAL CONSULTATION 



888 SEVENTH AVENUE 

NEW YORK NY 10019 

212 • 245 • 2211 



Feature articles are not usually placed 
through film or entertainment critics, but 
through journalists specializing in a particular 
subject area. Journalistic guides such as Editor 
and Publisher and Bacon 's Publicity Checker 
provide masthead listings for magazine and 
newspaper editorial personnel. Writing 
"pitch" letters takes skill and practice; ex- 
amples can be found in any of the publicity 
guides published by such non-profit organiza- 
tions as the National Lawyer's Guild in 
Philadelphia; the Public Media Center, a 
non-profit San Francisco advertising and 
public relations agency; the Community 
Resource Exchange's Guide to Media in New 
York City; or Community Jobs, a 
Washington DC alternative paper. 

PRESS RELEASE 

One of the main ways filmmakers do their 
PR work is through press releases or an- 
nouncements. Writing concise, literate press 
releases is difficult; writing releases which will 
also be read is next to impossible. Even 
smaller daily newspapers receive hundreds of 
releases a week. Most disappear, unopened, 
into the circular file; few are read past the first 
paragraph. For this reason, layout and the 
first paragraph are extremely important. 
Press releases should be neatly typed and 
printed, with double spacing (at least) be- 
tween lines and substantial margins to leave a 
journalist or editor room for writing notes. 
The release should be written in what is called 
the "inverted pyramid" style: most important 
information (usually the five journalistic 
"w's" — who, what, where, when and why) in 
the top two paragraphs; least important infor- 
mation towards the bottom or on the second 
page, if there must be one. 

If a contact person's name and phone num- 
ber are provided, they should be typed at the 
top of the release; and the person should be 
available if called. Few things are more 
frustrating for a reporter than to call a press 
release number and be told (live or via answer- 
ing machine) that the contact person is only 
available on alternate Tuesdays from 2 to 4 
pm. For a two-page release, the journalistic 
"-more-" should be typed at the bottom of 
the first page, and either "###" or "-30-" at 
the end of the release. 

A well-written release is like a news article. 
It should be adaptable for placement in the 
newspaper or magazine with a minimum of 
rewriting. It's essential to figure out what is 
most striking about your film or screening. 
What makes it different from the other films 
being screened that week or the myriad events 
competing for a reporter's attention? Would 
you jump from your typewriter to attend if 
told "Homer Ludens' modern adaptation of 
The Odyssey, set in New York City, is com- 
plete and ready for screening," or if you read 
"'Twenty years ago I had a rent-controlled 
apartment,' laments the hero of Odysseus in 
SoHo, Homer Ludens' ribald new treatment 
of the Greek classic"? The fact that you have 
finished a film and are having it shown may be 



newsworthy to you; it's not likely to be to 
anyone else. 

PHOTOS, GRAPHICS 

A word (or two) about photographs. From 
my experience as a filmmaker, distributor and 
programmer, I can't tell you how important 
they are, and how few filmmakers take them 
seriously. The time to take production stills is 
during production. You don't have to lug 
around a Hasselblad or hire a professional 
photographer to take them. Someone on the 
crew can carry around a pocket-sized 35mm 
camera and a few rolls of Tri-X film (color is 
rarely needed for publicity stills). Sure, you 
can have stills made from your outtakes, or 
rephotograph scenes off a Moviola screen 
(I've done it). But it won't look as good as if 
you had printed them from 35mm negatives. 
Also, don't forget to take a few vertical shots. 

Other means of communication with your 
public(s) include postcards, press books and 
grant applications. Too often, in the rush to 
film or tape, we forget that words and graphic 
images are also part of the way the public 
perceives filmmakers and their work. Certain- 
ly a well-typed grant proposal with all the 
words spelled correctly won't get you a grant, 
but a sloppy, mistake-filled proposal will cer- 
tainly diminish your chances — even if the 
content is brilliant. 

A well-designed postcard should do more 
than just announce a screening. It should 
make you want to see the film. This does not 
mean you have to do a four-color, super- 
expensive printing job. The same is true for 
press books. Independent filmmakers can't 
compete with major studios or cable TV net- 
works, who can spend thousands of dollars 
on press and PR materials. We can , however, 
compete with the image of carelessness pro- 
jected by publicity materials that are poorly 
designed, uncreative and, yes, even sloppy. 

In spite of advances made by independents 
over the past twenty years, there is still, in my 
opinion, no substantial public ready to fund 
and screen independent work. While in- 
dividual filmmakers can, and should, con- 
tinue to promote their own work, it might well 
be time for AIVF as an organization to con- 
sider the possibility of educational publicity 
campaigns on behalf of independents as a 
group — not just in Congress, to influence 
legislation, but also out there among the vast 
American audience. If it doesn't, our public 
relations may well become very private 
indeed. ■ 

Eric Breitbart is an independent filmmaker. 



PRESS LIST 

AlVF's Press List for the New York area, 
listing over 200 print, radio and TV contacts in- 
terested in alternative media, is available on 
Avery labels for $10. Use it to publicize your 
screening, fundraiser or production plans. 
Easy to update, easy to use again. Call (212) 
473-3400. 



20 



MARCH •1903 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FIELD REPORT 



Cold Frames: Northern 
Indies Talk Shop 



KATHLEEN HULSER 

As Thoreau discovered, isolation can be 
invigorating, and the present-day inhabitants 
of northern New England seem to thrive in 
the unpeopled woods and fields. But once in 
a while every filmmaker has a yen to trade 
shop talk with some colleagues. In late Oc- 
tober, ex-Pittsburgh filmmaker Bruce 
Posner, who recently moved to New Hamp- 
shire, organized a symposium called Film- 
maker's Dialogue. Held in a stuffy library 
basement next to the Claremont, New Hamp- 
shire, central green, the gathering attracted 
around 35 participants. The day-long session 
brought out some of the perils and pleasures 
of filmmaking in northern New England, a 
region noted for its independent spirit and 
meager arts appropriations. 

One of the six afternoon panels featured 
three filmmakers from the "backwoods" 
— Richard Searls of Maine, John Karol from 
New Hampshire and Walter Ungerer of Ver- 
mont — who promptly dove into a discussion 
of distrust among filmmakers: a suspicion 
fortified by the competitive aura of grants 
applications tendered in a community so 
small, filmmakers are likely to know exactly 
who is in the running. The panelists bemoan- 
ed this sort of adversarial outlook; and judg- 
ing by the amiable atmosphere of the sym- 
posium, it seems those present weren't on the 
brink of succumbing to petty rivalry. 

Many of the later panels were packed with 
arts and humanities council functionaries, 
which caused some grumbling. To be sure, 
filmmakers do like to court arts emissaries, 
but those present on this occasion had little 
concrete support to offer and soaked up 
much of the day's schedule. For the record: 
New Hampshire spends virtually nothing on 
media per se; the Vermont Arts Council 
averages $4,000 per annum; the Vermont 
Council on Humanities and Public Issues is 
trending downwards from $87,000 in 1979 to 
$26,000 in 1982; while the Maine State Com- 
mission on the Arts and Humanities is also 
decreasing funding, spending not more than 
$6,000 apiece on several artists-in-residence, 
and cutting off the old Maine Alliance of 
Media Arts. One new face on the funding 
scene is the New England Foundation for the 
Arts, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts: 
under the leadership of Marie Cieri it will 
pilot a media touring program this year. 

During the New Horizons panel, some 
specifics emerged on how to develop audi- 
ences for unusual films in an area where the 
MARCH • 1 983 



public has been exposed to little other than 
Hollywood and tube fare. Although the three 
states vary considerably in number and diver- 
sity of exhibition sites, everyone agreed it was 
an uphill battle. 

One major funder, the Vermont Humani- 
ties body, asks funded filmmakers to appear 
at presentations, and requires that funded 
films be shown in at least four different in- 
state sites. Also, the Council encourages the 
use of scholars to help moderate screening 




Royce Dendler, Vermont cineaste cum alchemist 

discussions. As filmmaker Dorothy Tod 
pointed out, the scholar may be informative, 
but academics generally address film content 
and leave the realm of film form untouched. 
In Maine, a prime showcase has been the 
Maine Student Film Festival, but since the 
demise of the Maine Media Arts Alliance, 
even that small stab at audience stimulation 
may disappear. New Hampshire, as one 
might expect given its "live free or die" no- 
tax policies, had no publicly funded exhibi- 
tion programs at all. In fact, things are so 
dire in the Granite State that the Fiske 
Library, where the conference was held, had 
"only $200 a year for all programs," accor- 
ding to library chief Gary Burger. He noted 
that the same situation obtained in other 
medium-sized towns in the state, because 
libraries were mostly supported through local 



taxes. Obviously, other programs have 
priority when such trifling sums must under- 
write events for an entire community. 

ON THE ROAD 

Another angle on the film presentation 
problem was offered in the Traveling Exhibi- 
tions panel. Small-scale tours were enthusias- 
tically advocated by Bruce Posner, who told 
of his success with a road show of Pittsburgh 
filmmakers' works (total cost: $3,600, which 
was recouped after 18 gigs, plus a few 
benefits and bring-a-dish parties). On the 
other end of the spectrum was Tony Safford 
of the American Film Institute exhibition 
wing, who mostly spoke of large-scale 
packages of features, which had little 
significance for the indies in attendance. 

Perhaps the most heartening aspect of the 
depressing arts funding profile in the region 
is that, despite the obstacles to media produc- 
tion, filmmakers are still active. After some 
more talk of various filmmaker-initiated ac- 
tivities (more later), the symposium ad- 
journed for a leisurely dinner in a restaurant 
housed in a converted bank (sign of the 
times?). Over my scallop casserole I chatted 
with Deborah Felder, the lone video pro- 
ducer in the crowd. Based in South Gardiner, 
Maine, Felder has most recently produced a 
five-part documentary series on teenage 
unemployment. She also helps program a 
cable channel for the University of Maine in 
Augusta. She mentioned that there is some 
resistance to airing independent work in the 
state, although Michael Mears' Seven Dirty 
Words program is broadcast on PTV. Felder 
also noted that Maine PTV has recently pick- 
ed up a pretty offbeat indie program: the 
finals ^of the Women's Barbershoppers, 
groups of women, many from Canada, who 
rally once a year for a songfest/contest. 

MINERS, TRAPPERS & ALCHEMISTS 

After dinner we trooped back across the 
green for what was, for me, the main course 
of the sessions: screenings. First up was a 
half-hour segment of an eight(!)-hour inter- 
view with a German coal miner who had sur- 
vived two World Wars, witch hunts, Nazis 
and more. The piece, shot on black-and- 
white videotape and transferred to film, was 
brought courtesy of Gabriele Voss and Karl 
Saurer, who were on tour with the Goethe In- 
stitute. The discussion of A If ons S. never got 
off the ground either because the audience 
was too diverse in its tastes or because dinner 
was drawing blood away from their heads as 
the mammoth chunks of subtitles swept by. 
The next film, Richard Searls' Dead River 
Rough Cut was a documentary everyone 
could relate to, dealing with trappers, cold 
weather and chickadees in the deep Maine 
woods where snowshoes crunching in the 
drifts sound as loud as an express train. Film- 
makers exhilarated by the simple virtues of 
cinema verite might be fatigued to discover 
that this particular intimate portrait was cap- 
tured by skiing-in new batteries to the remote 

21 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Capital Resources 

Looking for a location in Louisiana? Crying for a 
crew in Colorado? Aching to edit in Alaska ? The ever- 
enterprising staff of AIVF has compiled a library of 
production information from US state and city film 
commissions. Helpful resources include maps, hotel 
and restaurant guides, photo essays of available 
locations, addresses and phone numbers of union 
locals, production companies, equipment rental and 
talent agencies. Even animals and airplanes can be 
found Many film commissions provide free liaison 
and information services. Most have toll-free 
numbers. Directories are on file at AIVF for 
reference only. 



MEMBER DISCOUNTS 

AIVF is pleased to announce the initiation 
of a discount program of film and video pro- 
duction services for its members in the New 
York area. The companies listed below will 
offer discounts to AIVF members upon 
presentation of a membership card. We 
hope that this program will foster closer 
cooperation between independent pro- 
ducers and companies that provide produc- 
tion services. 

20/20 Productions 
Tom Garbor 

1 74 Spring St 

New York (212) 966-2971 

10% discount on all V< " and V? " shooting 
packages. 

Editing facilities also available. Please call for cur- 
rent rates. 

TVC Labs 

Roseann Schaoffer, VP Sales 

311 West 43 St. 

New York (212) 397-8600 

Negotiable discounts on services. 

Camara Mart 

Leo Rosenberg, Rental Manager 

456 West 55 St. 

New York (212) 757-6977 

20% discount on all rentals of film and video 
equipment, with some specific exceptions. Larger 
discounts may be available for rentals of long dura- 
tion or for favorable payment terms. 

Raflk 

814 Broadway 

New York (212) 475-91 10 

25% discount on straight rental of screening 
room, rentals on cameras and sales of used 
videocassettes. 15% discount on use of editing 
facilities. All other supplies at discount rates; 
special deals available. 

Rough Cut Video Services 
Jack Walworth 

129 West 22 St. 
New York (212) 242-1914 

10% across-the-board discount on all services, in- 
cluding 3 A " productions, 3 A " editing and VHS to 
3 A " transfers. 

AIVF would like to thank these companies 
for participating. Any other firms who wish to 
be included, please call (212) 473-3400. 



cabin when the shooting exhausted the sup- 
ply. Searls' piece drew a lot of laughs when 
the trapper launched into a heartfelt recita- 
tion of The Cremation of Sam MacGee, a 
favorite backwoods poem about how the 
afterlife — if there is one — had better be hot- 
ter than life here on earth. 

Not every rural filmmaker sticks to pas- 
toral subjects. Becky Abbott of Bennington, 
Vermont, showed her Story of the Western 
World in 17 Minutes, a compilation film 
which roared through a painfully American 
view of civilization, from the Ku Klux Klan 
to an oil company ad. Likewise, Royce 
Dendler of Bristol, Vermont, appeared in a 
speed-demon mode as he whizzed through his 
tale of 129 different plunks, boings and 
grunts from the Spike Jones Orchestra. 
Dendler, who has eyebrows as impish as his 
bag of kitchen-sink effects in The Spike 
Jones Story, proved to be the most militantly 
independent of the indies present. Decrying 
the pernicious effects of arts council 
busybodies, he noted that his recently com- 
plete dramatic film The Alchemist drew on 
local resources and shunned bureaucrats' 
subsidies. 

ORGANIZATIONAL FITS AND STARTS 

When the symposium wound down at 11 
pm, I for one would have liked to see and 
hear more, but we all had miles to go before 
we slept: yet another illustration of how New 
England as a geographical unit is far from 
unitary. The very occurrence of the sym- 
posium raised questions about the possible 
and desirable ways to link filmmakers up 
north. Are these northern New Englanders 
ripe for regional organization? And if so, 
what structure is appropriate, and what 
problems should be addressed? Research in 
the history of independent film in the tri-state 
area revealed how complicated these issues 
are. In Maine, New Hampshire and Ver- 
mont, media associations of one sort or 
another have sputtered into existence and 
collapsed not long after. Paradoxically, the 
reasons these organizations were found- 
ed — an urge for contact, the need to build a 
unified voice — were often related to the 
reasons they died: geographical dispersion, 
different film orientations (political, poetic) 
and lack of an effective lobby to secure stable 
public funding of projects. 

Lately in Vermont, Walter Ungerer's Dark 
Horse Films has been sponsoring a yearly 
screening and seminar. "Depending on how 
you define it, there are from eight to 100 
filmmakers in Vermont," he estimated. "The 
key problem is that people are so scattered 
they can't really support one another. Film- 
makers are thirsty to talk but rarely can af- 
ford the time and money to travel for meet- 
ings." Ungerer mentioned that ten years ago 
a filmmakers' group started in Burlington, 
but that it petered out after a few meetings. 
He thinks a newsletter and some sort of 
equipment sharing would be helpful, but at 
present he's happy to concentrate on his own 




22 



Maine filmmaker Huey with his latest subject, 92-year 
old dancer Grace DeCarlton Ross 

work, and organize the Vermont Indepen- 
dents show. 

Another Vermont indie who wasn't at the 
Claremont session spoke about video. 
Michael Billingsley of Montpelier founded 
the Image Co-op exhibition space in 1976, 
but it folded in 1982 due to a rapid CETA- 
fueled expansion and some ensuing misman- 
agement. "While I am personally still under- 
writing some exhibition, I prefer to do it 
myself rather than having to spend so much 
time writing proposals in a time of 
cutbacks," he explained. He has also been 
active on a well-funded cable access channel 
in nearby Lyndonville. Although the studio 
there is well-equipped, the access require- 
ments were so stringent that people had dif- 
ficulty using it, until a suit was filed and mat- 
ters eased. But, as usual, access doesn't solve 
the bread-and-butter question of pay for 
work. Neither does Vermont Spotlight, a 
PTV show which runs narrative and docu- 
mentary pieces by indies for $3 a minute. 

What problems does Billingsley see in the 
Vermont indie community? "Many film- 
makers live here, but rush off to the city to 
show their work. And although Image Co-op 
shows a couple of dozen different video ar- 
tists' works annually, it's hard to get people 
to come out for shows. I doubt anyone could 
unite Vermont indies under one banner," he 
commented. "So these days I am thinking in 
terms of having people come for a party plus 
screening, just to stimulate some activity." 
Billingsley hopes to start using his house for 
exhibits now that Image Co-op has folded. 

Huey Coleman of Maine, an indie who 
also didn't attend the symposium, was a key 
person in another recently deceased media 
arts organization. The Maine Film Alliance, 
later called the Maine Alliance of Media 
Arts, started out in 1975 as a group of film- 
makers meeting at pot-luck suppers to screen 
and discuss work around the Portland area. 
For a while, MAMA functioned as a grant 

MARCH • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



conduit and gathering point, but according 
to Coleman its "state funding was cut 
drastically — from $15,000 to zero — and we 
had worked so long for free we didn't have 
any energy any more." Geography was clear- 
ly a factor: Portland is closer to Boston than 
most of upper Maine, so many upstaters 
perceived the MAMA group as a clique. At 
this point it looks like media activity in Maine 
will once again revert to private initiatives. 

SELF-HELP MOST PROMISING 

Over in Concord, New Hampshire, a 
media center operated for a few years, but 
recently folded because the most active 
organizer left the project. However, further 
north on the Connecticut river, I ran across 
the most comprehensive, regular and intri- 
guing exhibition program in the three states. 
New England New Media is a non-profit 
organization started by Vermont-based Ray 
Foery, which set up screenings and seminars 
in the Grafton Star Grange Hall behind Dart- 
mouth's spiffy Hopkins Arts Center in 
Hanover, New Hampshire. Self-supporting 
through door donations and benefits, the 
Shadowbox program lasted two years in the 
Grange Hall, where volunteer organizers 
schlepped benches and rolled out a projec- 
tion booth two weekends a month. The 
schedules featured an eclectic mix of off- 
Hollywood, documentaries and experimental 
films — a very ambitious program in an area 
where even the Ivy League college's notion of 
far-out film leans to Thirties screwball com- 
edy. "It was a forum for artists — local and 
not so local," commented Becky Abbott, 



who was a member of the group from 1977 to 
1979. "Shadowbox introduced people in the 
area to things they had never seen before." 

Eventually the Odd Fellows and Rebeccas 
in the Grange Hall wearied of the filmmakers 
and Shadowbox folded its tents. Now Foery 
is scouting a site in nearby White River Junc- 
tion. "Until we can finance the building, I 
won't be able to get it off the ground 
— although we were able, in a recession, to 
obtain $50,000 in pledges and the support of 
the White River Chamber of Commerce (no 
avant-garde outfit)," he explained. "We have 
proven that we can bring filmmakers together 
and draw a new audience up here. Natural 
curiosity brings people in if we have regular 
shows. And our bestsellers — narrative 
features — subsidize our poetry. Program 
notes and speakers help introduce unfamiliar 
visual ideas, and it's exciting to have friend 
and neighbor types show up for offbeat pro- 
grams. We actually draw as many people as 
the Collective for Living Cinema [in New 
York City] does." 

Foery's new revised Shadowbox probably 
won't surface until some substantial local 
money is raised, but he is planning a "Cabin 
Fever Festival" for mid-winter, to be held 
somewhere in the Upper Connecticut Valley. 
And maybe that pragmatically sums up a 
model attitude for exhibition and film- 
makers' group activities up-country: a press- 
ing motive (like cabin fever) for showing 
films, and filmmakers who push to make it 
happen. Mutual support and self-support 
seem to be the name of the game, but groups 
like New England New Media show that it 
can be done. ■ 



BOARD MINUTES 

The AIVF and FIVF Boards of Direc- 
tors met on January 10, 1983. A summary 
of the minutes follows. Full minutes are 
available on request. 

• EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 's REPOR T 

1. CPB— Members of AIVF Board met 
informally with Ron Hull, director of CPB 
Program Fund. Hull described efforts to 
improve coordination of CPB funding 
with PBS distribution. Board members ex- 
pressed deep concerns with consortium 
funding of independents. 

2. "COMAX" Case— AIVF will be join- 
ing in an amicus brief supporting 
New York State's public access re- 
quirements against a suit by cable 
operators claiming that access re- 
quirements violate their First Amendment 
rights as "electronic publishers." 

• AD HOC THIRD WORLD COMMIT- 
TEE REPORT 

Ad Hoc Third World Committee recom- 
mended that the executive director per- 
iodically report to the Board on affir- 
mative action implementation, that the 



committee be used by staff as a resource, 
and that staff initiate activities pertinent to 
Third World independents. 
• BOARDS ACT 

1. Approved AIVF & FIVF budgets for 
FY 1982-83. Approximate budgets: 
FIVF— $170,000. AIVF— $50,000. 

2. FIVF Board approved new personnel 
regulations. 

3. Tabled ratification of a partial list of 
Advisory Board members, pending sub- 
mission by Development Committee of a 
final list of acceptances. 

4. Acknowledged John Greyson's excep- 
tional contributions to development & 
growth of AIVF & FIVF, & regretfully ac- 
cepted his resignation. 

AIVF and FIVF Board meetings are 
generally held at 7:30 on the first Monday 
of every other month. The next meeting is 
March 7. Meetings are open to the public. 
AIVF members are encouraged to attend 
and share i their views with the Board. For 
more information, call AIVF at (212) 
473-3400. ■ 



i Mill i i i y 

Enterprises r 



The Source for 
American Independent Cinema 

Representing, in World Markets, films 
by 

THE ARCHIVES PROJECT 

BETH B 8t SCOn B / BRIGITTE BERMAN 

JUDY IRVING & CHRIS BEAVER 

BARBARA KOPPLE 

HILARY MADDUX & DEBORAH BOLDT 

ERIC MITCHELL / DAVID BURTON MORRIS 

VICTOR NUNEZ / ANITRA PIVNICK 

JOHN SAYLES / SUSAN SEIDELMAN 

ROBERT M. YOUNG 

and others 



For more information on our 

marketing services for independent 

filmmakers please call or write: 

JOY PERETHS 

JONATHAN OLSBERG 

330 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 

10036 

212 239 8662 




THE KNOWLEDGEABLE 

ENTERTAINMENT 

INSURANCE BROKER 

AFFORDABLE INSURANCE FOR 

M0VIES»TV» INDEPENDENTS 

COMMERCIALS* VIDEO»THEATRE 

MULTI-MEDIA»SPECIAL EVENTS 

EQUIPMENT«STUDIOS«LABS»GENERAL LIABILITIES 

NYC PERMITS* SHORT TERM 

RENTALS»UNIQUE PR0GRAMS»ERR0RS & 

OMISSIONS LIABILITIES»NEGATIVE 

FILM//VIDE0TAPE«SH0RT & LONG TERM 

COVERAGES 



CONSULTING 

COMPETITIVE^FAST SERVICE 



MARCH •1983 



23 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FESTIVALS 



FESTIVALS has been compiled by Amanda M. Ross and Wendy Udell with 
the help of Gadney's Guides and the FIVF files. Listings do not con- 
stitute an endorsement, and since some details change faster than we 
do, we recommend that you contact the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. If your experience with a festival differs 
from our account, please let us know so we can improve our reliability. 



Domestic 

• HUMBOLDT FILM FESTIVAL, April-May. 
Opportunity for amateur, student & independent 
filmmakers to be seen by public & judged by profes- 
sionals. Entries in 16mm only, maximum length of 
one hour, produced within previous 2 years. 
Categories include: documentary, experimental, 
narrative & animation. $900 in cash prizes awarded 
to 8 winners. Entry fee: $14 for independents & 
students; $25 for distributors. Festival pays return 
postage. Deadline: Apr. 22. Contact: Humboldt 
State University, Theatre Arts Department, Areata 
CA 95521; (707)826-3566. 

• INDY FILM AWARD COMPETITION, 
September. Competition, established in 1959, is 
restricted to in-house filmmakers. Aim: to 
recognize & publicize achievements of government, 
science, business & educational filmmakers. En- 
tries in 16mm, S-8 or Vt " videotape. Categories in- 
clude: advertising, sales, training, education, 
employee relations & public relations. Names of 
winners published in Sept. Industrial Photography 
magazine. Deadline: Apr. 29. Contact: Industrial 
Photography, David Silverman, 475 Park Ave. 
South, New York NY 10016; (212) 725-2300. 

• NATIONAL LATINO FILM & VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, May 20-22. 3rd Annual Festival in- 
vites entries in all genres from Latinos/as living & 
working in US & Puerto Rico. Especially seeking 
films/tapes for young people this year. Best of 
category awards will be given. Works may.be in 
Spanish or English, with preference given to sub- 
titled works. Entries in 16mm, S-8 & Vi "videotape. 
Include $5 entry fee. Contact: Beni Matias, El 
Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., New York NY 
10029, (212) 831-7272. 



• NEW YORK 8MM MOTION PICTURE CLUB 
ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL, May. Annual 
amateurs-only festival established in 1941. Entries 
in S-8 or 8mm, maximum 15 minutes long. Any 
subject except pornography accepted. No entry fee. 
Deadline: April. Contact: Muriel Frazier, 100 
Arden St., New York NY 10040. 



SPECIAL THANKS 



FIVF gratefully acknowledges the generous 

support of the following foundations, 

corporations and individuals who have 

donated money towards the Foundation's 

work. Such support ensures that we can 

continue to build media awareness and 

appreciation of independent video & film 

through our various programs and services 

to the independent producing community. 

Max Molinaro 
Judy Lynn Fieth 



• PALO ALTO FILM FESTIVAL, April. 
Festival, established in 1975, restricted to Northern 
California filmmakers. Films must be independent 
& noncommercial, in 16, S-8 or 8mm, maximum 
length 45 minutes. Cash awards given. Entry fee of 
$9 per film includes return postage & insurance. 
Deadline: April. Contact: Palo Alto Cultural 
Center, 1313 Newell Rd., Palo Alto CA 94313; 
(415)329-2122. 

• SIGGRAPH '83, June 25-29. The Special In- 
terest Group in Graphics of the Association for 
Computing Machinery's annual convention, draw- 
ing up to 18,000 attendees, traditionally showcases 
computer-generated visual work produced by the 




Diego Echeverria's El Legado showed at the 2nd National Latino Film & Video Festival 
24 



industry. Their first separate "Art Show," in 1982, 
included pieces by video artists Gary Hill, Dan San- 
din, Tom DeWitt, Vibeke Sorensen, Dean Winkler, 
Jody Gellerman, Zsuzsa Molnar & Frank Dietrich. 
This year's expanded show calls for "computer- 
mediated works by visual artists," including in- 
stallations, 16mm film & V* " U-matic video, con- 
ference proceedings cover designs & hardcopy 
(drawings, photos, prints & sculpture). The Even- 
ing Film and Video Show will exhibit } A " & 1 " Type 
C U-matic video & 35 & 16mm films on state-of- 
the-art projection equipment. To enter the Art 
Show, contact Dories Kochanek at the Film Board 
of Canada, (514) 333-3434 by June 24. All cor- 
respondence and submissions go to Copper Giloth 
at Real Time Designs, 531 S. Plymouth Ct. #102, 
Chicago IL 60605. 

• VIDEO SHORTS III, March. Only national 
video festival devoted exclusively to short, non- 
commercial video production of up to 5 minutes. 
Tapes accepted in 3 A " and all Vi " formats. Ten win- 
ners will each receive $100 honorarium; composite 
tape of winning entries will be made available for 
rental or purchase. Two public showings in Seattle 
will be sponsored by the Seattle Arts Commission. 
Entry fee: $5. Mar. 9 deadline has been kindly ex- 
tended one week to accommodate readers of The 
Independent. Contact: High Hopes Media, PO 
Box 20069, Broadway Station, Seattle WA 98102; 
(206) 322-9010. 

« WOMEN'S INDEPENDENT FILM FES- 
TIVAL, June. Women Make Movies will sponsor 
this 3rd annual event for one week at Film Forum in 
NYC. Last year's festival showed shorts, documen- 
taries & features from Europe & South America as 
well as by local & national producers. Included 
were Bittersweet Survival by Chris Choy, You Are 
Not I by Sara Driver, Surviva by Artemis Films, 
The Willmar 8 by Lee Grant & A Jury of Her Peers 
by Sally Heckel. Entries in 16 and 35mm. 
Videotape submissions for selection welcome. En- 
try fee: $15 (covers return postage). Deadline: Mar. 
20. Contact: Women Make Movies, 100 Fifth Ave., 
NY NY 10011, (212) 929-6477. 

• LESBIAN &GAY FILM FESTIVAL at NYU is 
looking for films and videotapes to possibly include 
in a three-day festival, April 20, 22, and 23, 1983. 
Also interested in works-in-progress and works not 
optically printed which require double-system pro- 
jection. Please contact David Sprigle at (212) 
598-7777 or (212) 674-8624, or Paul Mowry at (212) 
243-8619. 

Foreign 

• ASOLO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
FILMS ON ART & BIOGRAPHIES OF AR- 
TISTS, May-June. Established in 1973 & recog- 
nized by UNESCO, presents critical survey of film 
on arts & artists. Entries in 35 or 16mm, must have 
been produced within previous 2 years. Awards 
given. No entry fee; entrant pays postage. 
Deadline: April. Contact: Flavia Paulon, Director, 
AIFFABA, Calle Avogaria 1633, 30123 Venice, 
Italy. 

• AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, one of 2 major film festivals in New 
Zealand. Both take place in July, just after 
Melbourne and Sydney Festivals in Australia, mak- 
ing a stop in New Zealand the natural complement 
to any filmmaker's tour "down under." New 
Zealand's TV networks are reportedly big film 
buyers, although the audience is naturally small. 
Last year's American participants numbered over 

MARCH 9 1983 



15, including Atlantic City, Health, Heartland, 
Ragtime, Sitting Ducks, The Trials of Alger Hiss, 
The Life & Times ofRosie the Riveter, We Are the 
Guinea Pigs, Memories of Duke and In Our Water. 
Founded in 1950, festival is recognized by IFFPA. 
Enter by April. Contact: Max Archer, Auckland 
Festival Society, PO Box 1411, Auckland 1, New 
Zealand; Tel: 33-629. 

• CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR 
FILM FESTIVAL (CIAFF), September. 
Established in 1970 by Society of Canadian Cine 
Amateurs to encourage amateur cinematography 
through competition & to make outstanding 
amateur films available to the public & other film- 
makers. Festival also has a touring exhibition of 
winning films. Entries in 16, Super-8 or 8-mm, 
maximum length 30 minutes. Trophies awarded. 
Canadian entry fee: $5; festival pays return 
postage. Deadline: April. Contact: Betty Peterson, 
Director, CIAFF, 4653 Dundas St. West, Islington, 
Ontario M94A 1A4, Canada; (416) 231-8903. 

• COSTA BRAVA INTERNATIONAL 
AMATEUR FILM FESTIVAL, May- June, for 
amateur, independent, underground & non- 
professional filmmakers. Entry restricted to award- 
winning non-professional films in 16, S-8 or 8mm, 
produced during previous 3 years. Trophies award- 
ed. No entry fee; festival pays return postage. 
Deadline: April. Contact: Agrupacio Fotograficay 
Cinematografica, Alons Hereu i Ruax, President, 
Oficina Permanente del Festival Aunytamiento, 
Sant Feliu de Guixois, Gerona, Spain; Tel: (72) 
32-00-29. 

• CRA CO W INTERNA TIONAL SHOR T FILM 
FESTIVAL*, June. Short film festival, established 
in 1963, especially welcomes films dealing with 
trends & changes of 20th century. AIVF member 
David Ehrlich attended in 1980 with his Vermont 
Etude No. 2, & reports an exciting festival with 
screenings in 3 separate theatres & simultaneous 
translations in 4 languages. Rather than a commer- 
cial opportunity for filmmakers, Ehrlich called 
Cracow "a central meeting place of socialist film- 
makers from all over, where artistic issues of con- 
cern to all could be discussed." Festival pays all ex- 
penses within Poland only. Entries may be in 70, 35 
or 16mm, up to 30 min. Categories include 
documentary, animation, fiction & experimental. 
The Golden Dragon is the grand prize; other 
awards & trophies given as well. The changing 
political situation in Poland creates some uncer- 
tainty about the advisability of entering the Cracow 
Fest at this time. Film unions affiliated with 
Solidarity boycotted the 1982 Festival, & censor- 
ship during the selection process limited exhibition 
to what one Polish filmmaker called propaganda 
films, mostly made by state-run broadcast agen- 
cies. Many of the best Polish filmmakers apparent- 
ly decided to stay away. It is not clear what will hap- 
pen between now and June, but significant change 
hardly looks imminent. Deadline: April. Contact: 
Piotr Sokolowski, Director, Plac Ayciestwa 9, PO 
Box 127, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland; Tel: 26.40-51. 



• GOLDEN ANTENNA INTERNATIONAL 
TELECOMMUNICATION & ELECTRONICS 
(ITU) FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 26-Nov. 1. Entry in- 
to this quadrennial festival is limited to ITU- 
member governments. Festival's purpose is "to 
show growing integration of national networks in 
world telecommunications, and inform of latest 
developments." Categories include telecom- 
munications, public information, commercially 
produced telecommunications, electronic 

MARCH •1983 




23 



Years of Award- 
Winning Films 



• Complete Animation Services 

• Special Effects 

• Title Design 

• Computerized Oxberry 
With Image Expander 

• Slides to Film 



Film Planning Associates mc 

38 East 20 Street 
New York, NY 10003 
212-260-7140 



Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

13 Years of Continuous 

Service to the Independent 

Media Arts Community 

• Film/Video/Audio Equipment 

• Production and Post- 
Production Facilities 

• Beginning, Intermediate & 
Advanced Training 

CALL FOR FREE BROCHURE 

OF CURRENT PROGRAMS & 

SERVICES 



£*7Q QQfti 10 am— 6 pm 
Of O^JOU I WEEKDAYS 

Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

4 Rivington St. NYC 10002 




CORI 

is pleased to represent 

some of America's finest 

filmmakers for overseas 

sales. 

FILMS NOW AVAILABLE 

EIGHT MINUTES TO MIDIGHT 

MARY BENJAMIN 
DAY AFTER TRINITY JON ELSE 

MOONCHILD ANNE MAKEPEACE 
ENERGY WAR AD. PENNEBAKER 

EL SALVADOR: ANOTHER VIETNAM 

GLENN SILBER 
JOE MCCARTHY: THE MAKING OF 
A DEMAGOGUE 
GLENN SILBER and BARRY BROWN 

NEW CLIENTS 

BLOOD AND SAND 

SHARON SOPHER 
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH 

ANDREW STERN 
RESURGENCE PAM YATES 

The above are 1 to 1 1 /2 hour specials 
We also represent titles of shorter dura- 
tion. 



If you wish assistance in prices 

and servicing in foreign countries, 

please contact: 

Marie Hoy, President 

CORI & ORIENT INC. 

Ste 1200 

2409 Century Park East 

Los Angeles, CA 90067 

213-557-0173 

telex 9104901669 



We own and operate our own 
offices in LONDON, TOKYO and 
LOS ANGELES, thereby providing 
the infrastructure to sell and 
service films internationally. 



25 



THE INDEPENDENT 



documentaries, promotion/advertising & training S 
films. Films in 16 & 35mm accepted through May. ^ 
To find out how to enter through your government, ■£ 
contact: Golden Antenna '83, International £ 
Telecommunication Union, Place des Nations § 
CH-121 1 , Geneve 20, Switzerland. g 

• GOLDEN HARP TELEVISION FESTIVAL, 
May. Established in 1966 to promote interest in 
traditional cultures. Categories include: folklore 
and folksong, TV films (35 or 16mm) & videotapes. 
Entries made exclusively through broadcasting 
agencies. Maximum length: 35 minutes. No com- 
mercials accepted. Perusal of their catalogues in- 
dicates that there has never been an American win- 
ner. Deadline: April. Contact: Radio Telefis 
Eireann, Andreas O'Gallchoir, Secretary General, 
Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland; Tel: 693111. 

mGRIERSON FILM SEMINARS FILM & 
VIDEO EXHIBITIONS, November. Named after 
John Grierson, the noted documentarist & founder 
of the National Film Board of Canada, this festival 
has provided a forum since 1 975 for discussion of 
current trends in documentary filmmaking. Their 
motto is: "Sharing Ideas and Information about 
Film." Entries in 35 or 16mm. No entry fee; spon- 
sor pays return postage. Deadline: April-June. 
Contact: Ontario Film Association (OFA), Liz 
Avison, President, PO Box 366, Station Q, Toron- 
to, Ontario M4T 2M5, Canada; (416) 978-6522. 

• SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL*, June, is 
Australia's major film event. Last year's 29 
American selections included features, shorts & 
documentaries, almost all independently produced. 
Eight of these comprised the major part of a special 
lunchtime documentary series. In his introduction 



1 


1 


||j 


j# m 







Cathy Zheutlin's Lost Love played at Sidney 

to last year's catalogue, director David Stratton 
said, "The filmmakers represented in the following 
pages are men & women who have things to say, 
things that are important to them & that they want 
the widest possible audience to see & hear. It is the 
duty of the Festival to help bring their messages to 
the public, not only to the festival audience but to 
many thousands of people beyond that." 

Last year's American entries included: 
Americana, An Acquired Taste, Burden of 
Dreams, The Atomic Cafe, The Day After Trinity, 
Ecocide: A Strategy of War, In Our Water, Life of 
the American Fireman, Lost Love, Resurgence, 
Soldier Girls, Vernon, Florida, Warriors' Women, 
Wasn 't That a Time? & Amalie Rothschild's Con- 
versations with Willard Van Dyke. Rothschild at- 
tended the festival & reported excellent organiza- 
tion, good press coverage & a helpful staff. She also 
noted that most of Australia's film distributors & 
TV buyers attend either Sydney or the Melbourne 



Film Festival, which directly precedes Sydney & 
shares about a third of its programming. 

No entry fee; filmmaker pays all postage. 
Videotapes in NTSC, PAL or SECAM U-Matic 
formats OK for pre-screening. Stratton plans mid- 
march NY visit but will have very limited time for 
viewing materials. If interested, call FIVE for info. 
Deadline: April. Contact: David Stratton, SFF, 
BOX 4934 GPO, Sydney NSW 2001, Australia; 
Tel: 660-3909. 

• UNIVERSIADE INTERNATIONAL STU- 
DENT FILM FESTIVAL, July 5-9. Part of the first 
World Student Games to be held in North 
American since their inception in 1923 in Paris, a 
liberally funded eleven-day cultural & athletic 
event. Open to students & amateurs. Entries in 
16mm, Super-8 or 3 A "NTSC videotape. Categories 
include: theatrical, documentary, experimental & 
animation. $6,500 in prize money; additional spon- 
sored prizes. Deadline: Apr. 15. Contact: Univer- 
siade Film Festival Committee c/o National Film 
Theatre, Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Ave., Ed- 
monton, Alberta T5J 2C6 Canada; Telex: 
037-41355. 

• VELDEN AMATEUR FILM FESTIVAL OF 
NATIONS, June. Festival, established in 1971, is 
restricted to amateurs. Entries in 16, Super-8 or 
8mm, maximum length 25 minutes. Categories in- 
clude: documentary, travel, games & genre (fan- 
tasy, experimental). Trophies awarded. No entry 
fee. Deadline: April. Contact: Filmclub 
Klagenfurt-Kurverwaltung Velden, W. Hufsky & 
F. David, A-9220 Velden am Woerthersee, Kurver- 
waltung, Austria; Tel: (0-42-74) 2103. 

* Festivals marked by an asterisk will make your 
films eligible for A cademy A wards entry. ■ 



FOR am TO TAPE WITHOUT 

M ■■■ mm mm Hl«MlHr% To cope with today's video needs. 

■ lllr IIMIIV %0m^ mw need more than state of the art equipment. 
You need state of the art service. Unitel gives you both. 

So whether it's a commercial or a documentary, 35mm, 16mm or slides, we can 
transfer it just the way you want it. Even unsupervised. Call Phil McEneny, Garth 
Gentilin or Jack Beebe for everything you need to uncomplicate your video life. 
Because at Unitel, we believe that a video complex |#J|H ■■■■|| m 
shouldn't give you complex about video. Villi MtMl Am 

VIDEO COMPLEX 

Unifel video * ~ 

The Uncomplicated Complex 

Unitel Video, Inc., 510 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 (212) 265-3600 



26 



MARCH •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



AIVF NOTICES 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF members receive first priority; others in- 
cluded as space permits. Send notices to THE INDEPENDENT c/o FIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10012. For further info, call (21 2) 473-3400. Dead- 
line: 8th of second preceding month (e.g. March 8 for May). Edited by Mary Guzzy. 



Buy • Rent • Sell 

mFOR SALE: 16mm Sera 6-plate flatbed, like 
new, $6,000. Uher report 4000L, $500. Call: (608) 
256-4934, WI. 

• FOR SALE: 16 mm Bolex reflex camera w/ 
auto-fader, 10, 35 & 75mm Switar lenses, case & 
accessories, like new, $600. Graflex 16mm projec- 
tor, model 900, needs repair, $75. Bauer C-Royal 
S-8 camera w/ 7-56mm zoom lens & extra filters, 
excellent condition, $100. Kodak S-8 projector, 
$45. Vernon S-8 viewer/editor, $30. Contact: 
Phyllis Chinlund, (212) 866-7625, NY 

• FOR SALE: Professional Canon 3-pin XLR 
jacks in sturdy metal box, mounted to your 3 A " in- 
dustrial, Beta or VHS deck. Eliminate mini-plug 
hassles. Single-channel, boxed XLR-to-mini on 10" 
cable, $35. Double-channel, $45. Triple-channel, 
third channel Vi " stereo/mono phone jack, swit- 
chable to mono mini for stereo or mono head- 
phones, $60. Contact: Videotronics, PO Box 
19112, Washington DC 20036, (202) 234-0593. 

mFOR SALE: Large quantity new 3M 208, 209 
audiotape on 5 & 7" reels. 3 Shoeps CMC UK 
amplifiers, 2 M-41 hypercardioid heads, 1 MK-6 
tri-patternhead, 1 G90 degree adaptor, 1 MK-5car- 
dioid omni head, 1 DZC-lOdb pad, 2 BZ04n power 
supplies. 1 Sennheiser KAT 15-2, 1 Sennheiser 815 
mic w/shock mount, foam & cage windscreens, 
cables & case. 1 Shure M67 mixer, 2 Beyer DT-48 
black headsets, 24 assorted cables of sundry specs 
in excellent condition, 1 Sam Cine Panamic 
fishpole & other goodies. Contact: Richard Brick, 
(212) 925-8877, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Sony DXC-1610 camera, recent 
tube, aluminum case, 16 " extension cable, CMA-5, 
excellent condition, $1000. New Panasonic CT- 
500V 5" color field monitor/receiver; lightweight, 
beautiful picture, hardly used; w/ battery case, 2 
sets rechargeable batteries, $400. Electro-voice 
635A mic w/XLR-to-mini for VTR, like new, $55. 
Sony 3600 Vi " reel-to-reel deck, record & playback, 
decent condition, cheap. Call (212) 255-4947, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Aaton 7LTR camera pkg. w/ LED 
light meter, video tap, swiveling viewfinder, 2 400 ' 
mags, removable shoulder pad, 2 batteries 
w/charger, sound barney, 9.5/57 Angenieux zoom; 
series 9 filters: 85, 85N3, 85N6; French Flag 
adapted for camera; changing bag, 2 metal cases. 
Purchased 3/81. Contact: Lisa Grossman, (212) 
581-0649, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Nagra 4.2L recorder w/ crystal 
motor, ATN power supply, Beyer headset, 7 " reel 
adaptor w/ cover, leather carrying case w/ 
shoulder strap & Fibrebilt carrying case. Sennheiser 
815 mic w/ windscreen, zeppelin, battery pack & 
hand grip. Sennheiser 415 mic w/ windscreen & 
schock mount. 2 ECM-50 lavalier mics w/ complete 
access. LTM medium fishpole boom, Shure M-67 
mixer, digital slater. Fibrebilt case for mics & ac- 
cessories. Contact: Lisa Grossman, (212) 581-0649, 
NY. 

MARCH m 1983 



mFOR SALE: Magnasync 2200 recorder, 2 602 
dubbers, interlock projector, mixer-Selsyn in- 
terlock system, Uher 4000 recorder. Call: (512) 
478-2971, TX. 

mFOR SALE: 16mm guillotine splicer, perfect 
condition, $165. 16mm Moviscop, excellent condi- 
tion, $150. Set of Magnasync rewinds w/ long 
shafts, new, $95. Will sell as pkg. or separately. 
Contact: Jeff, (212) 580-9785, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Canon 12-120 macro lens, 
Angenieux 12-120, $850. Kling time-lapse anima- 
tion system, Arri BL 1200' mag. Call: (512) 
478-2791, TX. 



Become a Landmark 

The International Documentary Association is put- 
ting together a regular, bimonthly documentary 
series at Nuart Theatre, of the Landmark Theatre 
chain, in Los Angeles. The weekend/daytime series, 
scheduled to begin in May, 1983, will feature sneak 
previews of new work, award-winning docu- 
mentaries old and new, as well as historical classics. 
The majority will be English language, but some sub- 
titled/dubbed works will also be included. Interested 
filmmakers with works-in-progress should submit a 
brief synopsis and estimated completion date to 
IDA, who will choose from this material a number of 
films for pre-screening. From the IDA recommenda- 
tions, Landmark Theatres will make further ar- 
rangements directly with filmmakers or their 
distributors. New films "sneaked" in this series will 
receive maximum support for publicity and press 
reviews from Landmark and IDA. The goal of this 
project, according to IDA, is to "create excitement 
about new documentary product, and to generate a 
good audience for non-fiction theatrical work. " 
Recommendations for good documentary pieces for 
the series are also welcomed. Contact: Linda 
Buzzell, Exec. Dir., IDA, 8489 West Third St., Los 
Angeles CA 90048, (213) 396-3920 or 655-7089. 



mFOR RENT: Complete broadcast-quality pro- 
duction pkg. Includes Ikegami HL-83, Vi " JVC 
4700U, color Videotek monitor, wave-form, mics, 
lights & tripod. Production personnel also 
available. Competitive rates. Contact: Everglade 
Prod., (212) 925-1247, NY. 

mFOR RENT: Video camera pkg. JVC KY-2000 
camera, JVC 4400U VCR, color monitor, full light 
kit, fluid-head tripod, mics. Low rates for in- 
dependents. Contact: Erik Lewis, (212) 788-0254, 
NY. 

mFOR SALE: Professional film editing equip- 
ment. 16mm Moviola, tables, rewinds, viewer, syn- 
chronizers, sound readers etc. Call: (212) 807-6622, 

NY. 

• 6 & 8-PLATE STEENBECKS FOR RENT, 
delivered to your place. Low monthly rates 
negotiable. Contact: Paul, (212) 799-7973, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Bolex H-16 16mm camera w/case, 
Switar 25mm fl.4 lens & Elgeet 75mm fl.9 lens, 
$325. Bell & Howell Filmo 240 w/ Super Comat 



20mm fl.9 & Schneider-Xenar 75mm f2.8 lens, 
$150. Contact: Dan Klugherz, (212) 595-0058, NY. 

mFOR SALE: 30 x 60 "editing table w/ light, one 
drawer, good condition, $115. Large bin, $60. 
Contact: N. Tesich, (212) 222-2273, NY. 

mFOR SALE: 1968 Steenbeck 6-plate flatbed, ex- 
cellent condition. Call: (212) 966-4600, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Technicolor 212 VCR & JVC 
GX33U color video camera w/ connecting cables, 
video charger, tapes, excellent condition, $1500 or 
best offer. Contact: Gray City, Inc., (212) 
473-3600, NY. 

mFOR RENT: Ikegami-HL 77s, BVU-110, Senn- 
heiser mixer, Colortran lights. Low-priced single & 
multi-camera shoots. Personnel as required. Vi " & 
1" editing from $1 5/hr . Contact: George or 
Melissa, Sun Video, (212) 473-6947, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Auricon double system camera. 
Crystal conversion by Mitch Bogdanovich, runs on 
110VAC or 12 VAC; 2 mags, shoulder rest. 
Beaulieu 16RPZ auto exposure/power zoom 
camera w/ 12-120mm Angenieux, 2 batteries, 
charger, case. Best offer. Contact: Doug Hart, 
(212)937-7250, NY. 

mFOR SALE: Nagra 4.2L recorder w/ crystal 
motor, ATN power supply, Beyer headset, 7" reel 
adaptor w/ cover, leather carrying case w/ 
shoulder strap & Fibrebilt carrying case. Sennheiser 
815 mic w/ windscreen, zeppelin, battery pack & 
hand grip. Sennheiser 415 mic w/ windscreen & 
shock mount. 2 ECM-50 lavalier mics w/complete 
access. LTM medium fishpole boom, Shure M-67 
mixer, digital slater. Fibrebilt case for mics & ac- 
cessories. Contact: Lisa Grossman, (212) 581-0649, 
NY. 

• SPACE FOR RENT: Alternative media com- 
pany has small office space in NYC to share w/ 
like-minded. $200/mo. Call: (212) 966-1487. 



Editing Facilities 



m 16MM EDITING FACILITY for rent at Taller 
Latino. Complete w/ table, 2 synchronizers, 
viewer, splicer & 6-plate Steenbeck. $50/day, 
$175/wk., $600/mo. Contact: Gini Reticker, (212) 

255-7155, NY. 

• TWO COMPLETE EDIT ROOMS in Chelsea: 
(A)24-hr. access; Moviola flatbed (torque motor 
box); complete 16mm edit equipment; complete 
kitchen & bathroom; minimal office facilities; 
telephone; air conditioning. (B)10 am-6 pm access; 
Steenbeck; complete 16mm edit equipment; ltd. 
kitchen, bath facilities; private phone; air condi- 
tioning; transfer, projection facilities; specialized 
edit equipment available at extra cost. Contact: 
David Loucka, Lance Bird, (212) 924-1960, NY. 

• EDITING BENCH SETUP: complete except for 
Moviola. Contact: Sandy Nervig, (213) 829-1143, 
CA. 

• VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP has new, 
small-format video post-production facility for ar- 
tists & non-commercial producers. Includes 2 Sony 
SLO-383 decks, Sony RM-440 edit control unit, 
wave-form monitor, video processing amplifier, 
19 " Trinitron monitor, TEAC 4-track porta-studio, 
Crown amp, JBL speakers, audiocassette recorder, 

27 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Revox '/2-track audio recorder & mics. Sony Vi " Sj 
reel-to-reel VTR & Sony V* " U-matic VCR | 
available for transfer to Beta. $6/hr., $40/8-hr. 1 
day individuals; $15/hr., $100/8-hr. day institu- c 
tions. Operator available at add'l hourly fee. ^ 
Artist-in-residencies available. Contact: Nancy & 
Stalnaker Norwood, Media Program Coord., g 
VSW, 31 Prince St., Rochester NY 14607, (716)" 
442-8676. 

• EDITING & POST-PRODUCTION FACILI- 
TIES AVAILABLE: Short-term rentals only. 9 am 
- 5 pm business days. KEM 8-plate 16/35mm, 3 A " 
video editing, sound transfer, narration recording, 
extensive sound effects library, interlock screening. 
Contact: Cinetudes Film Productions, 295 West 4 
St., NY NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. 



Errata 

• LED DO WN THE PRIMROSE PA TH DEPT. 
Museum of Modern Art wishes to clarify that the 
new Roy & Niuta Titus Auditorium II 
(Funds • Resources, Jan/Feb) is not for rent to the 
public. Sorry, folks. 

• Owen Levy & Assoc, mistakenly reported as con- 
tact for In Motion: Amiri Baraka, a video work by 
St. Clair Bourne (Dec). Correct contact: The 
Chamba Organization, PO Box 315, Franklin 
Lakes NJ 07417, (201) 891-8240. 

• Producer Diego Echeverria notes that he didn't 
submit 13 proposals to WGBH Frontline series as 
noted in Frontline (Jan/Feb). He "submitted one 
proposal containing ten (10) program ideas on dif- 
ferent subjects concerning Latin America." 

• Margaret Mead Film Fest article (Jan/Feb) said 
that Todos Santos Cuchumatan was funded out-of- 
pocket, but this applies to the shooting stage only. 
Producer Olivia Carrescia notes that she "received 
a grant from the New York State Council on the 
Arts, & received numerous in-kind contributions of 
services, facilities & equipment from individuals & 
companies — including the services of cameraman 
Vincente Galindez, who was responsible for the ex- 
cellent photography." 

• Writer Howard Gladstone notes that caption 
underneath still from The Last Pullman Car 
(Chicago Filmmakers, Dec) failed to credit co- 
producer Jerry Blumenthal, along withVjordon 
Quinn. Also, "although Blumenthal & Quinn had 
approached WTTW for funding previous projects, 
they did not go that route on this one. The film- 
makers found support for The Last Pullman Car 
from the Independent Documentary Fund of the 
WNET TV Lab in New York." 

• Bayou Indies on Local TV (Dec) neglected to 
credit filmmaker C. Larry Roberts for his 1982 
Strong Willed Women Subdue and Subjugate Rep- 
tiles underneath photo of same. 

Films 6 Tapes Wanted 

• INDEPENDENT PRODUCER seeks to rent 
rock 'n' roll concert videotapes for syndicated TV 
series. Contact: Dean Silvers, (212) 793-3183, NY. 

• INSTITUTIONAL TV NETWORK OF 
AMERICA seeks film/video educational & instruc- 
tional programs to add to services. Company cur- 
rently designs, installs & maintains closed-circuit 
security systems for prisons, apartment housing, 

28 




Eric Sherman's prison story, Inside Out, completed 

courtrooms etc. Program content can range from 
adult basic literacy to GED or college-level general 
interest in wide range of subjects. Send printed 
materials & statement of terms for use of work. 
Contact: Larry Bryant, Pres., ITNA, 2233 Wiscon- 
sin Ave. NW, Ste. 530, Washington DC 20007, 
(202) 337-0028. 

• KINETIC FILM ENTERPRISES seeks 
films/tapes for distribution to school boards, 
libraries, universities, hospitals, ministries, govt, 
depts. etc. in Canada. Send descriptions of non- 
experimental films produced after 1979. Documen- 
taries, sports, children's films & especially social 
issue films such as problems of youth, marriage etc. 
Contact: Frances Broome, Kinetic, 781 Gerrard St. 
E, Toronto, Ontario M4M IY5, Canada, (416) 
469-4155. 



BEST FILMS ON MINORITY 
ISSUES: We can help you find 
them. Contact Media Network, 

208 W. 13 St., New York, NY 10011; 
(212)620-0878. 



THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY 

NEEDS YOU! 

In these troubled times, we need all the 
help we can get — from each other. There 
are several ways you can help out your 
fellow independents. AIVF has launched 
four working committees that would wel- 
come your involvement: 

• ADVOCACY— help lobby public TV and 
cable on a local and national level; 

• PROGRAMS— Develop FIVF's Screen- 
ings & Seminars. Festival Bureau and 
The Independent magazine; 

• MEMBERSHIP— Build independent 
solidarity nationwide through outreach 
and chapter development; 

• DEVELOPMENT— Help solidify AIVF 
/FIVF's funding base through your sug- 
gestions and expertise. 

These working committees could ac- 
complish a great deal — with your participa- 
tion. Call (212) 473-3400. 



GROUP SHIPMENTS 

If three or more film/videomakers plan 

to enter the same foreign festival, 

FIVF can arrange a group shipment, 

thereby saving you money! What you 

must do is drop us a note telling us 

what festival you are planning to enter, 

and if we get enough interest in one, 

we will call you. 



• MEDIA NETWORK & REPRODUCTIVE 
RIGHTS NATIONAL NETWORK seek info 
about films/tapes on reproductive rights & related 
topics for inclusion in Guide to Media on 
Reproductive Rights. To be used in educational 
work & outreach, guide will include evaluative 
descriptions, lists of distributors & low-cost film 
libraries nationwide. Contact: Abigail Norman or 
Aimee Frank, Media Network, 208 West 13 St., NY 
NY 10011, (212)620-0878. 

• PACIFIC PEOPLES' FILM FORUM, to be 

held in San Francisco in mid-Sept. '83, looking for 
submissions of 16 or 35mm films dealing w/ 
Pacific, past, present & future. Films should focus 
on consequences of social change in Pacific Islands 
& Pacific Rim areas. Forum will combine screen- 
ings & discussion panels that explore contemporary 
Pacific scene. Contact: Charles Drucker, Friends 
of the Earth, 1045 Sansome St., San Francisco CA 
94111, (415)433-7373. 

• FOX/L ORBER A SSOCIA TES, specialist in TV 
marketing & distribution, expanding feature film 
library for representation. Interested in full-length 
English-language films w/ primarily narrative 
structure for sale to pay TV/cable, broadcast & 
home video, both domestic & foreign. Minimum 
length: 60 min.; no subtitles. Contact: Ericka 
Markman, Fox/Lorber Assoc, 79 Madison Ave., 
Ste. 601, NY NY 10016, (212) 686-6777. 

• GLOBAL VILLAGE 9th Annual Video & TV 
Documentary Festival invites all interested 
documentary makers to submit films/tapes for 
consideration. Deadline: Mar. 15, 1983. Contact: 
Jane Schonberger, Global Village, 454 Broome St., 
NY NY 10013, (212) 966-7526. 

• CALL FOR TAPES: Lower East Side Dance 
Festival will hold video exhibition during April 

1983. Tapes sought in which same principles ap- 
plied to making dance are used in making tapes, & 
which exploit nature of video medium in interesting 
directions. Small fee; tapes due by Mar. 11. Con- 
tact: Julie Harrison, 168 Mercer St., NY NY 10012, 
(212) 966-6162. 

• PELICAN FILMS distributes films to health 
care profession, but short films & tapes for all 
markets welcome. Alternatives to traditional 
distribution arrangements offered. Contact: Ar- 
thur Hoyle, Pelican Films, 3010 Santa Monica 
Blvd., Ste. 440, Santa Monica CA 90404, (213) 
399-3753. 



Funds • Resources 

• FILM IN THE CITIES 1983 grants available to 
film/video artists residing in MN, WI, IA, N/SD. 
Deadline: Mar. 28, 1983. Contact: FITC, 2388 
University Ave., St. Paul MN 55114. 

• FUNDS AVAILABLE to individuals 18 yrs. & 
older from Nassau & Suffolk counties to aid in pro- 
duction & post-production of creative video work. 
$500-1500 range. Deadline: May 2. Contact: Inter- 

MARCH •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Media Arts Center, 253 Bayville Ave., Bayville NY 
11709, (516)628-8585. 

• CPB UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS allotted 
$1.5 million for FY 1983. Approx. $500,000 
available to support projects in each of 3 review 
periods. Next deadline: April 22. Two categories: 
News & Public Affairs; Cultural & General. 
Guidelines available. Contact: Unsolicited Pro- 
posal Guidelines, Program Fund, CPB, 1111 Six- 
teenth St. NW, Washington DC 20036. 

• CPB HAS AWARDED 61 Minorities' & 
Women's Training Grants totaling $639,000 to 24 
radio stations, 20 TV stations & 17 public telecom- 
munications entities. Grants pay up to Vi salary & 
training costs to upgrade & improve skills of 
women & minorities in official, managerial, 
technical & professional positions. Applications 
for next round will tentatively be available Mar. 1, 
1983. Contact: Office of Human Resources 
Development, CPB, 1111 Sixteenth St. NW, 
Washington DC 20036, (202) 293-6160. 

• MEDIA LOG, a catalogue of TV, film & radio 
programs supported by NEH, available free from: 
NEH, Public Affairs Office, 806 Fifteenth St. NW, 
Washington DC 20506. 

• PYRAMID FILM & VIDEO offers entertain- 
ment & instructional films to foreign & domestic 
renters & buyers. Range & quality of films reflect 
talents of independent filmmakers they represent. 
Contact: Pat Hamada, PO Box 1048, Santa 
Monica CA 90406, (213) 828-7577. 

• ANNOTATED LISTING OF DOCUMEN- 
TARY 16MM FILMS, video & audiotapes which 
interview contemporary artists being compiled by 
Library at SUNY/Buffalo. Those who have pro- 
duced such work or know of work they would like 
to see listed contact: Sue Besemer, Assoc. 
Librarian, BL318, SUNY/Buffalo, 1300Elmwood 
Ave., Buffalo NY 14222; or Chris Crosman, 
Curator of Education, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 
1285 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo NY 14222. 

• IDEAL COMMUNICATIONS, independent 
production co. in Washington DC, is source for 
footage on most House & Senate committee hear- 
ings dealing w/ defense & environmental issues. 
Nominal fee depending on your funding. Contact: 
Ideal Comm., PO Box 53398, Washington DC 
200009, (202) 328-6373. 

• CREATORS' EQUITY FOUNDATION offers 
summer grants program in film/video. Each 
$25,000 award to be used in making a videotape. 
Includes production & post-production svcs. & 
equipment provided by Catalyst Production Svcs. 
& a Northern California broadcast co. Recipients 
must reside within daily commuting distance of 
Berkeley CA for 3-mo. duration of grant, June 
1-Dec. 1. Deadline for submission: Mar. 15, 1983. 
Contact: Catheryn Brompton, Summer Grants 
Program Dir., CEF, c/o Catalyst Prod. Svcs., 1782 
University Ave., Berkeley CA 94703, (415) 
848-7606. 

• CPB/ANNENBERG SCHOOL OF COM- 
MUNICA TIONS PROJECT soliciting preliminary 
proposals for 1983 funding cycle. Any group or in- 
stitution, profit or non-profit may submit pro- 
posals, which must address either: a)application of 
telecommunications systems to unique higher edu- 
cation problems, or b)development of innovative, 
high-quality college-level materials for use as elec- 
tronically transmitted educational programming. 

MARCH *1 983 




Pop star Dean Reed fiddles in East Berlin during Will Roberts' American Rebel 



In 6 Out of Production 

• OUT OF ORDER-done. 90-min. documentary 
concerning 5 former nuns: their reasons for enter- 
ing & leaving convent & their readjustment to 
secular life. Also: Robert Creely: Willy's Reading, 
16-min. doc. in which well-known American poet 
talks about his relationship w/ other poets & w/ his 
newborn son. William August May, 18-min. film 
about 75-yr.-old fisherman who lives on boat w/ 5 
dogs, & changes he has witnessed in California en- 
vironment. All directed by Diane Christian & Bruce 
Jackson. Contact: Diane Christian, Documentary 
Research, 96 Rumsey Rd., Buffalo NY 14209, (716) 
885-9777. 

• WEST SIDE PEOPLE-done. Video documen- 
tary, 2nd in series on desegregation by Sidewalks of 
NY, a theatre & video co. Their 1st program, The 
West Side is a Stage, won bronze medal at 1982 In- 
ternational Film & TV Festival/NY & has been 
aired on CH 25, Manhattan Cable & Teleprompter. 
Contact: Gary Beck, Sidewalks of NY, 44 Beaver 
St., NY NY 10004, (212) 668-9074. 

• WILLIAM STYRON: A PORTRAIT-done. 
1-hr. video doc. focusing on 3 days in life of author 
of Sophie's Choice. Premiere broadcast was Jan. 
10, 1983 on WETA, Washington DC. Produced, 
directed & edited by Joel Foreman; field produc- 
tion by Yellow Cat. Contact: Public TV Prod., 
3310 Glenway Dr., Kensington MD 20895. 

• AMERICAL REBEL-dom. 90-min. documen- 
tary about pop singer /movie star Dean Reed, most 
popular American in Eastern Europe & Soviet 
Union. Filmed in Moscow, Berlin, LA, Honolulu & 
Athens OH w/ archival footage of Reed's tour of 
Latin America. Produced by Will Roberts, film is 
slated to premiere at Filmex in LA, April 1983. 
Contact: Will Roberts, United Documentary 
Films, (614) 592-1600, OH. 

• BABIES ARE WHAT'S HAPPENIN '-done. 
Va " color, 3-min. video dance piece w/ original 
music by Tommy Mandel. Whimsical look at 
mothers, fathers & babies of all sizes. Produced by 



FIRST CLASS SERVICE 

Add $10 to your regular annual membership fee. 

and you'll get The Independent via first class 

mail — in time for every deadline. Send your check 

or money order to FIVF, 625 Broadway. New York, 

NY 10012. 



Samuel Weiser, directed by Rachel Feldman, 
choreography by Carl Tilmanns. Contact: Samuel 
Weiser, (212) 673-7521 or ICAP, 533-9180, NY. 

• INSIDE OUT-done. 53-min. color documentary 
about problems of running Texas Dept. of Correc- 
tions, largest state prison system in US. Directed by 
Eric Sherman. Contact: Troma, Inc., 733 Ninth 
Ave., NY NY 10019, (212) 757-4555. 

• NEW FILMS FROM THE NEW SOUTH, 
regional collection of short experimental 16mm 
films by Southern independent filmmakers, now 
available from South Carolina Arts Commission 
Media Arts Center. All films color. Includes such 
titles as Light Corner by W.A. Brown, Ena by 
David Audet, Dancing Lessons by Nancy Yasecko, 
Aquise lo Halla by Lee Sokol & more. Total screen- 
ing time: 66/2 min. Contact: SCAC, 1800 Gervais 
St., Columbia SC 29201, (803) 758-7942. 

• GARY & AUDREY & US-done. Video 
documentary about man afflicted w/ cerebral palsy 
& his non-disabled wife. Finalist in International 
Rehabilitation Film Festival; scheduled to be aired 
on ABC-TV affiliate in Western Massachusetts. 
Study guides & bibliography for further study 
available w/ tape. Contact: Cathexis, Inc., 84 
Magnolia Circle, Longmeadow MA 01106, (413) 
567-8267. 

• THE SHADOW PROJECT-done. 15-min. 

16mm documentary by Zachary Winestine & 
JoAnne Pawlowski records painting of shadows, 
reminiscent of those cast by Hiroshima atomic 
blast, throughout NYC by 200 volunteers, & 
responses evoked by these shadows. Contact: Zack 
Winestine, 190 Bleecker St., NY NY 100012, (212) 
982-8545. 

• BROKEN RAINBOW-done. Feature documen- 
tary about relocation of 10,000 Najavos from their 
native land in Arizona as result of Congressional 
act. Part political & part ethnographic, film will 
have limited theatrical distribution as well as airing 
on PBS or cable. Produced by Victoria Mudd & 
Earthworks. 

• GUA TEMALA . . . PERSONAL TESTIMO- 
NIES-dom. 20-min. color videotape in Spanish & 
indigenous languages w/ English subtitles. 
Eyewitness accounts & on-the-spot scenes of ongo- 
ing government abuse of human rights; filmed in 
Guatemala. Available from Skylight Pictures, 330 
West 42 St., NY NY 10036, (212) 947-5333. 

29 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Opportunities • Gigs 



• NEGATIVE MOUNTING: A- & B- rolls cut, 
scenes pulled for opticals etc., color & b/w, rever- 
sal, negative stocks. Reliable service, reasonable 
rates. Call: (212) 786-6278, NY. 

• CZECH, POLISH, RUSSIAN-wi\\ synch up 
dailies in these languages; also transcription & 
translation. Call: (212) 625-5064, NY. 

• EDITOR looking for projects. 15 yrs. documen- 
tary experience, many awards. Own editing room 
w/ flatbed. Very reasonable rates. Reel on request. 
Contact: Peter Bors, (212) 751-6091, NY. 

• CHOREOGRAPHER /DANCER interested in 
combining artistic dance performing elements w/ 
documentary & other film/video work of political 
& social nature. Contact: Rachel Ellner, (212) 
628-2765, NY. 

• PRODUCTION MANAGER w/ experience in 
features, commercials, shorts & video. Good 
organizer. Reasonable rates. Contact: Al Ritondo, 
(212) 783-7287, NY. 

• TWO MEN experienced in film production w/ 
van. All basic lights, cables etc. Camera & sound 
equipment available. Contact: Todd, (212) 
691-6170, am, or Dave, (212) 741-9568, pm, NY. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ 16mm Aaton & 
lights, available & eager to work w/ independent 
producers on documentary & narrative films. Rates 
flexible. Contact: East Marion Films, (212) 
420-0335, NY. 

• RESEARCHER experienced in medical & health 
info research, historical. You name it, I can find it. 
MA in R-TV, excellent writer, efficient & organiz- 
ed. Contact: Kate, (513) 474-4975, OH. 

• COMING OUT WEST? NY indies planning to 
shoot in No. California or Bay Area can save time 
& money by contacting Karil Daniels to coordinate 
most effective, least expensive shoot possible. Ten 
years experience w/ San Francisco independent 
film/video community. Contacts to quality 
freelance crew members, locations, equipment, ser- 
vices & supplies at best rates. Contact: Point of 
View Productions, 2477 Folsom St., San Francisco 
CA 94110, (415)821-0435. 

• NJV— TV FULL-SERVICE VIDEO PRODUC- 
TION CO. now offering services to trade & in- 
dustrial market. Three-tube, V* " broadcast-quality 
equipment. Any facet of business handled: creative 
production from scripting & storyboarding 
through post-prod., promotion, sales presentation, 
distribution. Studio &ENG field production. Slide- 
to-tape transfers. Day & half-day rates & per- 
project fees. Contact: NJV-TV, PO Box 433, 
Manasquan NJ 08736, (201) 458-4051. 

• VIDEO ENGINEER WANTED for broadcast- 
quality 3 /i " studio producing social issue documen- 
taries & criminal justice training programs. Must be 
reliable, troubleshooter/equipment repair w/ some 
production experience. Low-stress, laid-back rural 
atmosphere. Excellent benefits; $16,500-19,000 
depending on qualifications. EOE. Contact: Gary 
McDonald, Criminal Justice Media Center, Sam 
Houston State Univ., Huntsville TX 77341, (713) 
295-6211. 

30 



• INDEPENDENT FILM SERIES, sponsored by 
NY Dept. of Cultural Affairs & made possible by 
grant from Young Filmakers/ Video Arts, NYSCA 
& NEA, began Nov. 5, 1982. Ongoing program 
designed to showcase work of significant new film- 
makers. Contact: Mary Halawani, (212) 239-0422 
or Claire Tankel, 974-1 150, NY. 

• GERI-PARE, organization of retired mechanics 
who provide minor home repair services to elderly 
& disabled, seeking interested filmmaker to make 
documentary about group's work & history for na- 
tional distribution. Organization works closely 
with Cornell University Extension Program & will 
raise funds for film through foundations. Contact: 
Edward H. Kramer, Director, Geri-Pare, Inc., 
3072 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn NY 1 1235, (212) 
769-3282. 



AFI-CPB 

Documentary Conference 



"The Independent Documentary: The Implications 
of Diversity, " a two-day conference co-sponsored by 
the American Film Institute and the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting Program Fund, will be held April 
10-12 in Washington DC. The focus of the con- 
ference will be on the subject of journalistic integrity 
and standards for the social-political documentary 
According to AFI, "conference planners have 
designed screenings and discussions of new inde- 
pendent documentaries to address such issues as 
'balance ' within programs and broadcast schedules, 
policies towards 'advocacy' programs and the fund- 
ing and programming of independent documentary 
and television. " AIVF will make a presentation during 
a series of "Options" presentations, designated as a 
"key feature" of the conference. CPB, PBS and sta- 
tion policy-makers, commercial TV news and docu- 
mentary programmers and independent producers 
will assemble to hear and repond to such policy and 
programming proposals as a national "Op-Ed" 
public affairs series for PBS that would bypass pre- 
sent funding and progam guidelines for documen- 
taries. Registration forms and additional information 
are available frcm Susan Bluttman, AFI, The John F. 
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington 
DC 20566, (202) 828-4026. 



• VOLUNTEER WANTED to research TV sales 
for women's distribution company. Call: (212) 
929-6477 

Publications 

• HANDBOOK OF INTERACTIVE VIDEO, 
edited by Steve & Beth Floyd. New from 
Knowledge Industry Publications, a practical guide 
to effective use of interactive video technology. 
Written for training & communications profes- 
sionals. Sections on equipment, program 
budgeting, principles of design & production. In- 
cludes lists of manufacturers, appendices of design 
tips & production process, case studies of extant 
programs, bibliography & numerous tables & 
charts. 168 pp, clothbound; $34.95. Contact: KIP, 
701 Westchester Ave., White Plains NY 10604, 
(914) 328-9157. 

• 1983-84 FILM PROGRAM CATALOG from 
The Media Project. Extensive listings of films from 
Pacific Northwest. Free to exhibitors, 
$2/members, $2.50/others. Contact: MP, PO Box 
4093, Portland OR 97208, (503) 223-5335. 



• VIDEO TAPE REVIEW, catalogue of programs 
available from Video Data Bank. Includes descrip- 
tions of tapes by leading video artists & some 
critical analysis of trends & innovations in the field. 
22 pp & order form. Contact: VDB, School of Art 
Institute of Chicago, Columbus Dr. /Jackson 
Blvd., Chicago IL 60603. 



Seminars • Workshops 

• 3 WORKSHOPS ON VIDEO TELE- 
CONFERENCING sponsored by Public Service 
Satellite Consortium: Mar. 21-22, Denver CO: May 
25-26, Washington DC; July 19-20, San Francisco, 
CA. Individual sessions will address elements of 
successful teleconferencing, budgeting, network 
selection, choosing producer & on-camera talent. 
Registration fee: $395/person. $50 discount PSSC 
members. Contact: PSSC Marketing Dept., 1660 L 
St. NW, Ste. 907, Washington DC 20036, (202) 
331-1154. 

• INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM MARKET- 
PLACE: conference & market for buying & selling 
videocassette, disc, pay & cable TV rights. May 
22-25, 1983 at NY Hilton. Contact: B. Katz, 
Knowledge Industry Publications, 701 Westchester 
Ave., White Plains NY 10604, (914) 328-9157. 

• CHICAGO AREA Film & Video Network Con- 
ference, Sat. Apr. 2 at Chicago Cultural Center. 
First working conference for local film and video 
indies & media arts centers — discussions on fund- 
ing, distribution, equipment access & network 
organizational models. $15/all day. Contact: Ann 
Vickstrom, Center for New TV, 11 East Hubbard 
St., Chicago IL 60611, (312)565-1787. 

Trims 6 Glitches 

• MEDIA FOR LIBRARIES Film Showings at 
American Library Association annual conference, 
June 1983, have been canceled due to scheduling 
problems & are unlikely to be rescheduled at any 
time in the near future. 

• NEW AIVF MEMBER Isadore Hanken has been 
filming Native American Seminoles of Florida 
Everglades for many years, & has collected enough 
16mm footage to assemble a 30-min. film suitable 
for schools, colleges & environmental groups; also 
has extensive footage of wildlife. Interested in hear- 
ing from filmmakers who would like to assist in 
assembling several short films. Contact: Isadore 
Hanken, 1273 NE 92 St., Miami Shores FL 33138, 
(305)751-1172. 

• DCTV BENEFIT screenings for Nicaraguan 
Film Institute: Mar. 19-20, 6-10 pm. Nowhere to 
Run (DCTV), Nicaragua: The War Continues 
(ICN), The Cultural Insurrection, Nicaragua Film 
Inst.), War in Nicaragua (DCTV), Behind the 
Lines— Namibia (Steve Talbot), Hungerstrike 
(Tami Gold) & more. $3, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St. 
(below Canal), NY NY, (212) 966-4510. 

• CENSORSHIP DATA NEEDED for paper & 
slide presentation at 1983 Society for Photographic 
Education national conference: detailed informa- 
tion about specific cases in which artworks, 
criticism or related work were removed or rejected 
from exhibition or publication etc. for political 
reasons. Contact: Martha Gever, Catherine Lord 
or Diane Neumaier by March 7, 1983: 3901 In- 
dependence Ave, #1P, Bronx NY 10463, (716) 
442-8676. 

MARCH • 1 983 



YouVe got 43 raw cassettes, 

four yellow pads of logs and seven days 

to get an approval copy to the station* 



IPA 



Independent 
Programming 
Associates, Inc. 

1208 West Webster 
Chicago, IL 60614 
312/871-6033 



What do you do? If you're working on a tight deadline and an even 
tighter budget, make us your first call and your last. We know the 
problems of independent production because we've been there ourselves. 

We know you need time and support and creative input to make 
rough edits into television programs. That's why we created the finest 
3 A" editing suite in Chicago— or anywhere else. 

We offer three-machine editing with full list management on the 
Convergence 104, effects, titling and complete signal processing. Plus 
award-winning editors who make the difference. 

We also give you the option of roughing-out sections yourself while 
your editor is putting the final touches on the open and close. Spend a 
day or spend a week (there's a client loft/lounge for the out-of-towners) 
and make yourself at home. 

We guarantee 15% discounts to any producer working on an NEA 
or Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant because we don't just like 
artists, we support them. 



L 



53T 



T*<^SS' 



J/" 



F Hr»* 






^ 





YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 



Member AICP 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (212) 244-8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 

(213)858-1844 



The Quality Economy 

of SUPER 8, 

The Excellence of 

Beaulieu 




6008S AND 6008 PRO 
AVAILABLE DIGITAL 

• DIGITAL FRAME COUNTER 

• 200 FT. CARTRIDGE + TOTAL REWIND 

• VARIABLE SHUTTER 

• FPS SPEEDS 4 to 80 + SINGLE FRAME 

• INTERCHANGEABLE "C" MOUNT 

• SUPERB SOUND QUALITY 

• TIME LAPSE 

- R16- 

MONO - TURRET - ENDO 
OttT> Hervic/j&eau/ieu. 

4907 Valjean Ave., Encino, Ca. 91436 
(213)981-7457 



FIVF 

625 Broadway, 9th floor 

New York NY 10012 



NON-PROFIT ORG. 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 
New York, N.Y. 
Permit No. 7089 



MOVING? LET US KNOW. . . 
It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process 
an address change, and we don 't 
want you to miss a single issue. 



THE 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 



APRIL 1983 



$150 



INDE 






TENT 




Aaton 



Can you tell the difference 
between these two cameras? 



20 minutes! 




(The camera on the left is ready 
to shoot 16mm, and the same 
camera, on the right, is set for 
Super 16.) 



20 minutes is all it takes to convert the AATON LTR from 16 mm to Super 16. With Super 16 
increasing in popularity, more and more producers and directors are choosing the AATON LTR 
for unequaled results! 

Why invest in a camera that only offers you one format when you can have an AATON? 
AATON LTR 



Zellan 



[Zeil 



Enterprises^ 



250 West 57th Street 
New York N.Y. 10019 

(212) 245-1598 
Telex: 12-5122 



1-800-221-3349 

(All 50 States Except NY) 






4BH™*X*^kv 






'•Va-ili 












p 












• 

•a | 




cd 












w 




.u 


• 






73 




CD 




£j 


■P 






CD C 




r- 




CD 


£ 


•» 




XjfH 




rH 




s 


CD 


rt 




CO 








•p 


£ 


cu 




•H C 




•» 




rH 


-P 


u 




rH O 




>» 




cd 


u 


cd 




.a -H 




rH 




a 


cd 






cd -p 




Sh 







a 


CO 




-p cd 




O 




T5 


T3 


a 

cd 




W > 

CD U 




CO 




>s 




a> 




CD 








X! 


£ 


H 




CD CO 








Ok 


o 


u 




> CD 






LTv 


cd 


■H 


o 




cd VC 






rH 


Jh 


-P 






x: 








hO 


O 


3: 




CD 






• 


O 


3 


CD 




O bO 






a 


■P 
O 


13 
O 


25 




.CO 






s 


XI 


rH 


CD 




os 






a> 


a 


a 


jC 




CO 


• 




•H 






p 




CD CD 


>» 




> 


CD 


CD 






rH fl 


cd 




u 


x: 


r 


5 




rH -H 


*h 




CD 


■p 


P 


o 




•H d< 


CD 




-P 






rH 




CD 


73 




r; 


c 


•P 


O 




U (D 


3 




H 


cd 


O 


X> 




ox: 


O 






u 


c 






■P o 




CD 






cd 




CD 






rH 


CD 


•* 


E 




•P -P 


CD 




hO 


rH 


13 


3 




*h <d x: 




S 


bO 


< 


o 




3 


P 




fl 




a 




o c 








co 




• 


o o 


Pi 




'O 




(D 


cd 


£ 


•H 


O 




CD 


TJ 


i-l 




cd 


O -P 


z 4 . 1 




-P 


CD 


£ 


C 4- 


cd cd 

M -P 






■P 


■P 


O 


k 


o 


•> 




O 


•P 


m 


o 


o 


CO 


c 




Q* 


O 




X> 


r$ 


CD 


•H 




oo 


a 


«y 




o 


x: o 


CO 






CQ 




CO 




P -H 


C 




(0 




c 


cd 


cd 


ib 


O 




•H 


10 


o 


£ 




to cd 


o 




>h 


•H 


•p 




-p 


- u 


CO 




X3 


*h 


c 


CD 


o 


P 


nH 




O 




cd 


tc 


C 


H cd 


l-=* 




c 
















•H 
















• • 

Ctf 




- 












-P 
















cd 
















;-. 
















u 
















W 


















iShr 






- •■'■ I .: i , ,1 '-■■■■ fc ' •'<■■' ■ «Td 

- Illll 
■HHHh 



whiog 



■■•■'' 



T 



Hfc 



>>« 



^^H 



^H 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

APRIL 1983 m VOLUME SIX, NUMBER THREE 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Hulser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Bob Brodsky 

John Greyson, Mary Guzzy, David 

Leitner, Wendy Lidell, Susan Linfield, 

Toni Treadway 

Contributors: Jace Dawson, Suyapa 
Odessa Flores, Robert I. Freedman, 

Mary Jane Sullivan, Elizabeth 

Weatherford, Tony Whitfield, Brian 

Winston, Melody Pariser 

Art Director: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typesetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Petcap 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
(FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 
10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of independent video 
and film, and by the Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the national trade 
association of independent producers and individuals 
involved in independent video and film. Subscription is 
included with membership in AIVF. Together, FIVF 
and/1/KFprovideabroad range of education and pro- 
fessional services for independents and the general 
public. Publication of The Independent is made possi- 
ble in part with public funds from the New York State 
Sauncil on the Arts and the National Endowment for 
e Arts, a Federal agency. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our 
members and supporters. If you have an idea for, or 
wish to contribute, an article to The Independent, con- 
tact the Editor at the above address. 

All contents are copyright of the authors and The In- 
dependent, except where otherwise noted, and reprints 
require written permission from both. ISSN 
0731-5198. 

©FIVF 1983 



AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Ex- 
ecutive Director; Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; John 
Greyson, Media Coordinator; Sol Horwitz, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film 
Showcase Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Piatt, Member- 
ship Coordinator; Marry Guzzy, Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Robert Richter, 
President; William Greaves, Vice President; Lillian Jimenez, 
Chair; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, Treasurer; 
Lawrence Sapadin (ex-officio); Daniel Edelman; Pablo 
Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; 
Richard Schmiechen; Thomas Turley. 

A Publication of 

The Foundation for 
Independent Video & Film 

A 

The Association of 
Independent Video £ 
Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 



Features 

The Interview as an Unnatural Act 

Dispelling Some Common Assumptions about Truth in Packaging • Brian Winston 

Interview with Chris Spotted Eagle 

Pipe Dreams, Politics and Practical Projects • Suyapa Odessa Flores 

Native American Media Makers at Work 

From Low-Power TV in Lame Deer to the PTV Scene • Elizabeth Weatherford 

Education & Cultural Survival 

Conference of Native American Producers • Tony Whitfield & Mary Jane Sullivan 



11 
15 
17 
21 



Columns 



Media Clips • Censorship of "Erotica" 

Also: Feds Dump on Acid Rain, OMB Proposes Muzzle, Kudos for Indies • John Greyson 

In Focus • Creating the Light Stuff 

French Inventor Beauviala Designs Cameras for Users • David Leitner 

Legal '• A Gift That Keeps on Taking 

Scrutinizing Government Grants & Contracts • Robert I. Freedman 

Super-8 • The State of Things 

Cross-Country Tour of Media Arts Centers • Toni Treadway & Bob Brodsky 

Festivals • Moscow, Sinking Creek & Locarno 

Also World-Wide Video & Philadelphia • Wendy Lidell, Will Roberts & Marc Lenzini 

Notices 

Edited by Mary Guzzy 

COVER: Members of the Ute Tribal Media Department, an organization which trains native 
Americans to use equipment, makes tapes and maintains an extensive library. See Elizabeth 
Weatherford's article p 17. Photos supplied courtesy Ute TMD. 



4 

7 

9 

13 

23 

27 




Media Smarts 

Who was that sitting on Mount Rushmore in 
the March issue (PR: Self-Promotion or Self- 
Destruction?)! 

(left to right) Gene Siskel {At the Movies), J. 
Hoberman (Village Voice), Vincent Canby 



APRIL* 1983 



(New York Times), Pauline Kael (New 
Yorker), Roger Ebert (At the Movies) 

The Independent welcomes letters to the 
editors. Send them to FIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York NY 10012. Letters may be edited 
for length and clarity. ■ 

3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



MEDIA CLIPS 




Anything Goes on 
Cable Access. 

JOHN GREYSON 

The axis of access is freedom of expression, and 
Woodstock's community has decided (for now, at 
least) that Channel 6, the one municipal access 
channel on their cable system, can proceed sans 
censorship. The channel's history has had its fair 
share of lively controversies, but it took a half-hour 
weekly access show bicycled up from Manhattan to 
call the channel's future into question. 

Lou Maletta's Men in Film features gay com- 
munity profiles, interspersed with gay porn star in- 
terviews and coy clips featuring their various at- 
tributes. Town supervisor John LaValle received 
eight complaints following a Christmas night airing 
of the show, and threatened cancellation of the en- 
tire channel. A series of town board meetings open 
to the public ensued through January and 
February. Testimony ranged from charges of 
homophobia by lesbian activist and access pro- 
ducer Ruth Simpson to good old-fashioned bible 
thumping about Sodom and Gomorrah by ex-rock 
musician Rev. Jeff Williams. Channel 6's Board of 
Directors, which includes long-time media activists 
Nancy Cain, Bart Friedman and Tobe Carey (who 
also administer the channel and produce their own 
programs) established an open-access policy for the 
channel when it was established, and argued that 
any censorship vis-a-vis editorial control by the city 
would contravene NY State law. In compliance 
with the Town Board, however, they moved the 
show to Saturdays at midnight and listed it for 
'mature audiences' in the local TV Times. A more 
recent move by the Town Board to take control 
away from the channel's Board of Directors was 
also successfully quashed in mid-February. Pro- 
ducer Maletta says he's open to dialogue with the 
community: "Now that everything is settled, I 
would like to see the problem discussed with the 
people who are offended." Friedman acknowl- 
edges that things have cooled out, but foresees 
future installments in the struggle. "The whole cen- 



sorship issue was bound to come up at some point 
anyway. Now that it's on the agenda local pro- 
ducers are talking about doing non-exploitative, 
imaginative erotica, in contrast to the rather banal 
material on Men in Film. It should be an interesting 
spring." 

The issues of First Amendment rights on cable 
access are on the front burner in the legislative 
arena as well. The New York State Cable TV 
Association, in conjunction with two regional cable 
systems (Comax Telcom and Valley Cable Vision) 
filed a lawsuit against the New York State Commis- 
sion on Cable TV last summer, claiming the access 
provisions mandated by state law were unconstitu- 
tional, and in contravention of the cable operators' 
First Amendment rights as "electronic publishers." 
In early January, Assemblyman Joe Ferris in- 
tervened, claiming his interests as an access pro- 
ducer and chair of the State Legislative Commis- 
sion on Science and Technology would not be ade- 
quately represented by the Commission's defense. 
AIVF also prepared intervention papers on behalf 
of access producers, but at this writing it seems like- 
ly that the case will be withdrawn by the cable 
assocation. Bob Perry, Joe Ferris' attorney, sur- 
mises that the association has reconsidered its 
chances of winning. It's a test case that is bound to 
happen soon somewhere in the country, but 
perhaps not at this time. 

In early March, Ferris will introduce a series of 
almost a dozen cable legislation proposals in 
Albany, which touch on access provisions and 
generally support a greater regulatory environment 
on behalf of consumers. In Washington, mean- 
while, Barry Goldwater is back with with a new 
cable bill — S.66 — which some critics maintain is 
even worse than last year's. A coalition of religious, 
labor and citizens' groups involved in media (in- 
cluding NOW, United Church of Christ, AIVFand 
the United Steelworkers) issued a critique in mid- 




Robert Richter's Gods of Metal was nominated for an Oscar, one of many indie works garnering critical attention 
this year. 



February which pinpoints the bill's central con- 
tradictions: "Despite its stated reliance on 
marketplace competition, the bill appears to be 
anti-competitive. It prohibits the imposition of 
ownership restrictions. Thus, were S.66 adopted, 
cable monopolies could blossom with confidence 
that they could not be limited by state or federal 
governmental agencies." In other words, the bill 
proposes that the cable industry be unleashed from 
city /state (and hence community) control in favor 
of industry self-determination — and justifies it 
under the rubric of 'free marketplace' values that in 
reality would ensure further monopolies. 

Predictions about the respective futures of the 
Goldwater and Ferris bills go both ways. Given that 
they are diametrically opposed on key issues, it will 
be interesting to track their progress this 
spring. 



Hooray for Non-Holly wood I 

As more and more funding sources disappear for 
independents, the larger critical mechanisms in the 
country are beginning to recognize the unique 
contribution indies can make with PTV support 
— perhaps too late. 

Robert Richter just won the prestigious Alfred I. 
duPont-Columbia Journalism Award for best in- 
dependent documentary, for his two-part For Ex- 
port Only: Pesticides and Pills. He had to sign over 
half of his $20,000 prize to WNET, since he'd pro- 
duced it though their Non-Fiction TV series. His 
Gods of Metal, concerning disarmament initiatives 
within the religious community, has just been 
nominated for an Oscar, while in another doc- 
umentary section, Meg Switzgable's In Our Water 
has also been nominated for an Academy Award. 

Half of this year's Emmy nominations for 
WNET are for TV Lab indies: Skip Blumberg's The 
Double Dutch Show is up for best sports show, 
while Dan Reeves' Smothering Dreams has been 
nominated for best entertainment program. Both 
had been additionally nominated for best cinema- 
tography and best editing. Roberta Cantow's 
Clotheslines, a WNET Independent Focus winner, 
has also been nominated in the best entertainment 
category. 

Richter helped circulate an AIVF statement at 
the duPont-Columbia awards which in part stated: 
"Independent producers are being forced out of the 
mass media along with the diversity of program- 
ming that they represent. No other significant 
outlet exists since commercial broadcast television 
has even more restrictive practices and cable TV has 
limited its concerns to movies, sports and por- 
nography." It doesn't matter whether Richter, 
Blumberg, Cantow, Switzgable and Reeves win the 
awards, these nominations should tell the public 
system that one of the few things they are doing 
right is working with independents. 

Feds Dump on 
Acid Rain Flicks 

It's nice to know someone is watching out for 
you. Take the US Justice Department: In February, 
the vigilant men from the Foreign Agents Registra- 
tion Unit decided to save the public from unwitting- 
ly succumbing to the dastardly manipulation of 
alien subversives. The subversive in question was 
the National Film Board of Canada which was cir- 
culating three films: Acid from Heaven, Acid Rain: 
Requiem or Recovery? and // You Love This 
Planet. Mindful of the need to protect America's 
hearts and minds, the Justice Department ordered 
that the films be labeled "political propaganda." 
According to the applicable 1938 law, political pro- 
paganda is "any attempt to influence the American 
public with reference to the foreign policy of the 
US, on behalf of a foreign principal by written, pic- 
torial or other communication." 

APRIL* 1983 



36. festival internazionale del film Locarno. 
5-14 agosto 1983. 



P.O. Box 186 

CH-6600 LOCARNO/Switzerland 

Telex 846 147 

Tel. 093/31 82 66, 093/31 86 33 

If you want to have reviews on your film 
in Corriere della Sera, Positif, Filmfront, 
Suddeutsche Zeitung, American Journal 
of Semiotics, Cinema 82, Liberation, La 
Repubblica, Jerusalem Post, Variety, 
Neue Zurcher Zeitung, The Egyptian 



Gazette, II Tempo, Die Zeit, Cahiers du 
Cinema, New China News Agency, 
Tagesanzeiger, Film Quarterly and in 
200 more European newspapers and 
journals. . . 
then participate at the 



36. festival internazionale del film Locarno. 
5-14 agosto 1983. 



In our competition— Golden, Silver and 
Bronze Leopards are our awards— we 
are interested in promoting US films, as 
we have done in the past: 

Karen Arthur, Peter Bogdanovich, Cecil 
B. de Mille, John Ford, Robert Gardner, 
John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Anatole 
Litvak, Sidney Lumet, Joseph 
Mankiewicz, George Lucas, James 
Toback, Rank Tashlin, Kathryn Bigelow, 
Claudia Weill and many others have 
participated in our competition and many 
have started their international career in 
Locarno. 

We look for feature films finished in the 
last 12 months, not yet with international 
awards, not yet shown in Europe and 
longer than 60 minutes. 



To enter your film, send a print or %" 
videotape to FIVF-Locarno, 625 
Broadway, New York, New York 10012, 
along with available press material. Be 
sure to indicate the completion date, 
running time and a return address. The 
deadline for entry is April 27. 



The selection will take place in New York 
City at the end of April. 




THE INDEPENDENT 



* »* 



LOWEL OMNI & LOWEL TOTA ARE 
VERY DIFFERENT LIGHTS, BUT THEY 
WORK TOGETHER BRILLIANTLY 
YOU CAN USE EVERY TOTA ACCES- 
SORY WITH THE OMNI-LIGHT 
PROFESSIONALS^ THEM. 

LOWEL-LIGHT MFG., INC., 475 TENTH 
AVE. NY, NY 10018. 212-947-0950. 
LOWEL WEST 3407 W. OLIVE AVE. 
BURBANK, CA. 91505. 213-846-7740 



M 



ET 




16mm FACILITIES: 



Interlock Screening Ro 



taned. Optically Tested, & 
GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 
3/4' Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



FRESH (we ship on next bus/plane out) 

Scotch 'n Kodak 

AFTER HOURS/ 



475-7884 



Many, including Congressmen, Canadian of- 
ficials, environmental groups and the American 
Civil Liberties Union, consider this ruling blatantly 
political. All three "propaganda" films deal with 
politically sensitive issues. The two on acid rain 
clash with the Administration's environmental pol- 
icies. And since much of the chemical-laden rain in 
question is generated in the US and falls on 
Canada — even as the two countries negotiate over 
pollution controls — there's more than a whiff of 
self-interest about the rulings. If You Love This 
Planet, which has been nominated for an Academy 
Award, features Helen Caldicott of Physicians for 
Social Responsibility speaking about the dangers of 
nuclear war. 

John Roberts, Canada's Environment Minister, 
called the judgment an "extraordinary interference 
with freedom of speech." Likewise, Mitchell Block 
of Direct Cinema Ltd. (which distributes // You 
Love This Planet) pointed out that the Constitution 
doesn't limit the right of free speech to American 
citizens. He also indicated his reluctance to trans- 
mit to the Justice Department the "dissemination 
reports" required. Since, as guests in this country, 
the Canadians can't be plaintiffs, the ACLU is fil- 
ing a suit on Block's behalf, hoping to have the law 
declared unconstitutional. AIVF has also con- 
demned the ruling as an "improper use of the law." 

How do "they" determine what constitutes prop- 
aganda, and who decides? A representative from 
the Foreign Agents Registration Unit said such 
decisions are based on "common sense." Of 
course, one man's sense may be another's non- 
sense. Canadian officials said they were "surprised 
that the US government would do something this 
silly." Judging by the reactions from the US public 
and press, including an indignant New York Times 
editorial, many Americans agree. — Kathleen Hulser 

Cuomo Proposes 
Council Cuts 

In late January, newly appointed Governor 
Mario Cuomo proposed a 10-15% cut in the New 
York State Council for the Arts' fiscal '84 budget. 
NYSCA, a major and sympathetic supporter of in- 
dependent media over the years, provides vital 
funds to the field. In response, representatives 
from various arts disciplines will be driving up to 
Albany on March 14th to "zap" local legislators, 
lobbying them to restore funding to the 1983 level. 
Sara Garretson, Executive Director of the Cultural 
Council Foundation, put out the call to various arts 
service organizations and estimates that hopefully a 
dozen reps will make the trip. According to Garret- 
son, the decision on NYSCA funding will be 
reached in committee by the end of March and most 
likely rubber-stamped by the legislature in early 
April when the new budget is approved. "I think 
we've got some good arguments," she asserted. 
"However, at this point, it could go either 
way." — J.G. 

Does Your Left Hand Know 
What Your Right Is Doing? 

On January 24, Reagan's Office of Management 
& Budget proposed changes to Circular A-122: 
"Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations." If 
enacted, these changes could muzzle smaller 
organizations because of the cumbersome restruc- 
turing involved. While they don't prohibit political 
advocacy per se, they do outlaw any direct or in- 
direct use of federal funds to subsidize any part of 
such activities. 

Traditionally, only a small percentage of any 
grantee's funds was tolerated for such purposes. 
The proposed rule expands the definition of "po- 
litical advocacy" substantially, so that non-profit 
employees, equipment and facilities cannot receive 
any funding if they are ever engaged in political ac- 
tivity. Writing a letter protesting arts cutbacks or 



THIRD WORLD 
CINEMA CONFERENCE 

April 27-30 • New York 

Filmmakers, educators & 
general public invited to ex- 
plore major historical, aes- 
thetic & social questions posed 
by the 3rd World cinema. 

Panel topics include: history; 
producing, distributing & ex- 
hibiting in the 3rd World ; 
aesthetics; women; indepen- 
dent 3rd World filmmaking in 
the US; teaching on & off 
campus. 

Speakers include: Mrinal Sen, 
Heiny Srour, Jorge Fraga, 
Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Alfonso 
Gomucio Dagron, Med Hondo, 
Ruy Guerra, Safi Faye, Kidlat 
Tahimik, and US media acti- 
vists & educators. 

Admission Free 

Hunter College 

68th St. & Lexington Ave, New York. 

Contact Elvera Vilson (212) 570-5632 

Funded by NYCH, NYSCA, Film Fund & 
Film News Now Foundation 



FIVF Seminar 
Fundraising 

May 1 • 12 noon 

On the occasion of the con- 
ference, a panel of 3rd World 
producers will speak about 
fundraising from international, 
national, private & public 
sources. 

Hunter College, Room 919 
S3/AIVF members, 
$5/non-members 
Contact Isaac Jackson at 
(212) 473-3400. 



advising a member about current cable legislation, 
or allowing Bella Abzug to sit in a federally funded 
chair when she drops by the office would jeopar- 
dize the grant your organization receives. Similarly, 
filmmakers who receive grants could not use pro- 
ject stationery to protest the public TV problems 
described on these pages. As for those photographs 
of Che Guevara and Susan B. Anthony that dec- 
orate the federally subsidized walls of your produc- 
tion company. 

Arlene Shuler, Executive Director of Volunteer 
Lawyers for the Arts, said in mid-February that the 
proposed rule "could potentially have a chilling ef- 
fect on non-profit groups' freedom of expression 
and other First Amendment rights, and it could vir- 
tually preclude any participation in the government 
decision-making process." The OMB invited in- 
terested parties to submit written comments by 
March 9, and it is hoped that their pending rules can 
be reversed by strong opposition from the arts 
community. — J.G. 

APRIL* 1903 



THE INDEPENDENT 



IN FOCUS 



French Inventor 
Creates the Light Stuff 



DAVID LEITNER 

For Jean-Pierre Beauviala, who was in New 
York on one of his infrequent forays outside 
the Aaton workshop in Grenoble, France, last 
November's SMPTE convention held a sur- 
prise: the 1982 John Grierson International 
Gold Medal Award. At the awards ceremony 
the tall, long-haired intellectual inventor, 
in a loose black smock repousse against a 
three-tiered dais of jackets and ties, stood 
bashfully by as the presenter cited him for 
"outstanding technical achievement in the 
design of hand-held cameras, associated elec- 
tronic circuitry and time-synchronizing 
systems," noting in particular his contribu- 
tions to documentary technique. 

Later at the equipment exhibit's Sony 
booth, Larry Sapadin and I came upon a 
more animated Beauviala. He was weaving 
through the crowd with a BetaCam on his 
shoulder, delighted at its light weight and 
comfortable balance. Upon hearing that I had 
seen the solid-state video camera that the 
lightweight 35mm Feathercam will feature as 
a video-assist, Beauviala set aside the 
BetaCam, cried, "Let's go see!" and launch- 
ed himself in the direction of the Feathercam 
booth. 

When we caught up with him, Beauviala 
and the Feathercam representatives were ex- 
ploring the merits of charge-coupled devices 
v. conventional pickup tubes. At some point, 
someone wondered aloud how Aaton's 8-35 
35mm camera — newly introduced at the show 
— compared overall with the Feathercam. 
Without missing a beat, Beauviala snatched 
the Feathercam on display and disappeared 
down the aisle. The stunned Feathercam 
people — with Larry and me in tow — instantly 
gave chase, afraid of losing sight of the bright 
purple bandanna tied pirate-style atop 
Beauviala 's head. 

We found him, of course, at Aaton's ex- 
hibit. He had enlisted a woman bystander to 
hold the Feathercam in one hand and an 
Aaton 8-35 in the other: a sort of scale of 
justice. Which was lighter? Better balanced? 
Brighter in the viewfinder? Quieter? The 
Feathercam people were charmed by 
Beauviala's disarmingly sincere curiosity. 
And in a moment of unusual fraternity, each 
manufacturer complimented the other's 
design, while all at hand pronounced both 
cameras impressive. 

IMP A CT OF ARTISANS 

Jean-Pierre Beauviala grew up in a small 
town in the south of France and was fascin- 
APRIL 9 1983 



ated by artisans at work. "I remember as a kid 
I spent hours looking at people making shoes, 
making furniture. I learned many things. You 
know, I received a university degree in elec- 
tronics, but it appears that I was nuts about 
mechanics." 

Also, by his own admission, nuts about cin- 
ema. As a student at the University of Greno- 
ble, he helped run the cine-club, eventually 
assuming its leadership. After completing a 
doctorate in electronics, he stayed on at the 
University as an assistant professor of elec- 
tronics and research associate on the faculty 
of science. His principal studies concerned 
speech synthesis and analysis, but in his spare 
time he indulged a pet interest in the architec- 
ture of urban environments. In an effort to 
explore his concept of expres mental, "the 
picture you have in your brain about the space 
in which you live," he set out in 1967 to make 
a film. Beauviala was dismayed to learn, 
however, that he could not record synch 
sound with four tape recorders placed in 
separate remote locations. In those days, all 
synch sound recorders were slaved to cameras 
by cables, stylistically anchoring cameras in 
place. 

Beauviala correctly saw that time was the 
principle central to film and audiotape syn- 
chronization, and proceeded to "invent" 
crystal synch, unaware that a similar technique 
based on the tuning fork of a Bulova Ac- 
cutron watch had been pioneered in the US 
several years before by Ricky Leacock. Con- 
veniently, Beauviala had a physics lab at the 
University at his disposal. "I had all the 
equipment to play with, the Arri Standard 
[obtained for the film project], and I 



developed a digital — at that time! — servo 
control for the Arri. And I began to work on a 
system to write the time on the film." 

Eclair became aware of Beauviala's efforts 
and hired him away from academia — first as a 
consultant, then in 1969 as director of 
research and development. As first payment 
for the rights to Beauviala's crystal synch 
patents, Eclair gave him an NPR. "I realized 
that it was much too heavy for me. I am not 
very strong: tall and thin. So I began to 
modify the NPR with a flat motor, with 
lighter things. I'm always modifying things, 
you know." 

Meanwhile, his film was not progressing. 
To complicate matters, Eclair was purchased 
in 1970 by an English investment group head- 
ed by James Bond producer Harry Saltzman, 
who began to transfer the company's opera- 
tions to England. Beauviala was upset by the 
English workmanship (in any event, he never 
considered the ACL a finished design), and in 
a gesture of defiance, refused to negotiate key 
patents to Saltzman. "They fired me instant- 
ly, and I said, 'Okay, I will make my camera 
in my own company, the camera I need for 
that film.'" 

Beauviala set up shop in Grenoble, careful- 
ly fashioning an integrated work-space from a 
number of small interconnected workshops 
facing the street with open windows, so that 
"the people working give something to the 
people watching them, exactly as when I was 
young." Over the next year and a half, more 
technicians resigned from Eclair and retreated 
to Grenoble to join him. To generate research 
funds, the fledgling company marketed a 
small crystal synch motor of its own design 
for the Eclair NPR. Above the small 
"Beauviala" engraved on the motor housing 
was a larger, enigmatic word: AATON. 

SUN GOD HEADS PHONEBOOK 

"Aaton is the Sun God, Aten/Amenophis 
IV, the prototype of Jehovah, the Moses be- 
gat by Akhenaten," explained Beauviala, ci- 
ting Freud's Moses and Monotheism at the 
outset of an unprecedented four-issue inter- 
view published in Cahiersdu Cinema in spring 




THE INDEPENDENT 




We buy & sell 
new & used tape & 
equipment at the best 
available prices 

• 

Chyron Evaluation & 
Tape Reloading Service 



HUDSON 
AUDIO 
VIDEO 
ENTERPRISES 

P.O. Box 209, Livingston, NY 12541 
(518) 851-9087 




PRODUCTION PACKAGE 

2 NEW JVC 1900 CAMERAS W/ JVC 4400 

RECORDER, SENNHEISER & TRAM, 

MICROPHONES, L0WEL-D LIGHTS 

MILLER TRIPOD W/ TECHNICIAN 



POST-PRODUCTION 

JVC %" & NEW VHS TAPE HANDLER. W/ 

CHARACTER GENERATOR, GRAPHICS CAMERA, 

COLORIZER/KEYER, PR0C AMP, 6 CHANNEL 

STEREO MIXER W/ GRAPHIC EQUALIZER 



TECHNICAL CONSULTATION & 
COORDINATION OF ALL PRODUCTION 
& POST-PRODUCTION NEEDS. 
10% Discount to AIVF Members 



ROUGH-CUT 

VIDEO SERVICES 



HAVEN'T YOU JOINED YET? 

AIVF membership brings you services, 

health insurance, 10 issues of The Independent, 

and a voice in Washington. $25/year. 

AIVF, 625 Broadway, NYC NY 10012. (212) 473-3400 



1978. "Voila Aaton; the double 'A' permits it 
to be at the head of telephone books, one 
doesn't need to search, one is sure of being on 
top before Agfa, Angenieux, Arriflex." 

Before the name Aaton would grace a 
finished camera, however, Beauviala had to 
rein in his almost profligate passion for inven- 
tion. His electronics background, for in- 
stance, predisposed him towards an abiding 
interest in the rapidly evolving technologies of 
video. (He has remarked elsewhere that 
Aaton might have become a video concern, 
but for the mechanical skills of his colleagues 
from Eclair.) At the same time, he was pulled 
in another direction by his friend J. P. Carson. 
Carson was an ex-CBS cameraman who 
founded Eclair USA in 1964 and single-hand- 
edly introduced the Eclair NPR into the 
States. In 1973, demoralized by the English 
takeover, he sold Eclair USA to Saltzman and 
moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico, to establish a 
school of guerrilla filmmaking. He soon re- 
alized, however, that the requisite means of 
production were lacking and journeyed to 
Grenoble to consult his friend Beauviala. Car- 
son suggested designing a "Cineminima": a 
production system comprised of a tiny, 
lightweight single-system camera (optical 
sound!) that could be taken apart in the field, 
a suitcase-sized b/w reversal processing 
machine and a projector that could be 
operated off a truck battery. To convey Car- 
son's frame of mind, Beauviala in Cahiers 
paraphrased Brecht: "Oppressed: seize film; 
film is a weapon!" 

Aaton had produced three prototypes by 
1973. Although intrigued by Carson's 
"school on its feet" and "chain of 



212 - 242 - 1914 



HEALTH INSURANCE 

FOR AIVF MEMBERS 

• 

AIVF now offers its members an excellent 

Group Life & Medical Insurance Plan. 

Highlights include: 

• $1,000,000 Major Medical Plan, which 
pays 85% of all eligible expenses not 

covered by the Basic Plan 

• $10,000 Group Life and $10,000 Group 
Accidental Death or Dismemberment 

Insurance 

• Partial psychiatric coverage 

• Reimbursement for illness, injury & 

hospital expenses 

• 

If you are a member, write: 

AIVF Health Plan, TEIGIT, 551 Fifth Ave., 

New York, NY 10017. If you're not, call 

AIVF at 473-3400 and ask for free 
membership & health plan brochures. 



Cineminima," Beauviala realized that he 
couldn't pursue two cameras successfully. He 
decided to finish the sophisticated LTR model 
and postpone the Cineminima project. Car- 
son returned to the US with a 1973 prototype 
single-system Aaton (to eliminate wow and 
flutter, magnetic sound was compressed or 
stretched in response to uneven film 
speed — another Beauviala invention), pro- 
moted his Cineminima ideas among friends 
such as Haskell Wexler, and returned to Cuer- 
navaca for a brief visit. On the return trip to 
Grenoble, asleep in a car parked on the 
shoulder of a Mexican road, he was struck 
and killed by a rampaging truck. "The 
Cineminima project was crushed under that 
truck," Beauviala has said. 

The camera that was completed, the LTR 7, 
quickly attracted attention. Its 16/Super-16 
option and built-in video tap were firsts. 
"This design appeared to be the desired 
design of many cameramen," explains 
Beauviala, although he allows that he design- 
ed it for himself. "This camera incorporates 
all the things I wanted: clear time recording, 
as quiet as possible — because I hate to shoot 
people long-distance. If you want to film 
somebody at a short distance, you're obliged 
to have a very quiet camera. And also a very, 
very sharp viewfinder to be able to focus even 
with a wide-angle lens." At the same time, he 
stresses that "this camera has not been de- 
signed to be universal." He insists that a par- 
ticular camera must be tailored to its user and 
the project at hand. 

"In fact, Aaton has not been set up to make 
money or to make products," continues 
Beauviala, a sentiment that might raise 
eyebrows among the Mitterand economic 
planners seeking to pump up French industry 
and expand foreign currency reserves. "We 
only make the objects that are needed to reach 
a certain goal in separate [independent] film- 
making. We will never make an absolute 
studio camera for 35mm. We will never make 
products to have a complete garden. What we 
want is to concentrate on a given cinema. And 
this is why our advertisements are more 
related to what I think is the use of film, 
camera and sound than to the product itself. 
The product is a consequence of the thing you 
have to do." 

I asked Beauviala if he'd ever managed to 
finish his film. "Ah, that is the question!" he 
exclaimed. "No, no, it's not right; I never fin- 
ished my film. But in a way I have made a film 
by making the company." 

COMING A TTRA CTION 

In Part II J. -P. Beauviala discusses 
Super-16, time code, his 35mm collaboration 
with Godard, Aaton video, and color restora- 
tion of archival prints for the Cinematheque 
Francaise. 

Thanks to Tim Spitzer for his translation of 
the Cahiers texts . ■ 

David Leitner is an independent film pro- 
ducer who works at DuArt Film Labs in New 
York. 

APRIL • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



LEGAL 



The New Grants A Gift 
That Keeps on Taking 



ROBERT I. FREEDMAN 

During the Renaissance, the gifts of the 
Medicis to artists often had strings attached. 
The work of art was to be donated to the 
family church; the portrait of someone's 
daughter or mistress was to be painted; a 
nobleman who gave over his time to 
debauchery was to be portrayed on canvas as 
a valiant soldier. Through history, the artist 
has always had to make some accom- 
modations for financial support. 

Today, film and videomakers look to 
federal and state arts and humanities councils 
and to foundations for enlightened support of 
the arts. But some are beginning to wish that 
the price of a grant or contract would be sole- 
ly to record on videotape the likeness of a 
bureaucrat's mistress. Although the film- 
maker may seem to be living in better times 
than those poor compromising artists of the 
Renaissance, if current trends continue, the 
Medicis may become the object of a surge of 
nostalgia by comparison. 

Consider the following provisions which 
appeared in recent state and federal media 
grant awards: 

"The Endowment recommends that the grantee 
consider adding consultants from the fields of 
philosophy and literature to the primary advisory 
committee in order to broaden the humanistic 
perspective from which the subject. . .will be con- 
sidered." 

"While rights to the scripts will remain with the 
[grantee]., any plan for further use or distribution 




of this material must be submitted to the Endow- 
ment for approval prior to commitments on the 
part of the grantee." 

"[Grantee will furnish] an exact plan of the ac- 
tivities and responsibilites of the project humanities 
scholars, the staff historian, the Advisory Commit- 
tee of humanists and key members of the produc- 
tion staff as they relate to development, review and 
evaluation of scripts." 

"The Federal Government reserves a non- 
exclusive license to use and reproduce for Govern- 
ment purposes, without payment, any publishable 
matter, including copyrighted matter, arising out 
of grant activities where the Government deems it 
in its interest to do so." 

"Contractor shall not make increases or 
decreases in the major items of the 
budget. . .without prior written. . .approval." 

"The Project will be available for American 
public broadcast for four releases over a three-year 
period and the usage must be exclusive to public 
broadcasting." 

"No subsidiary or ancillary rights in the Pro- 
ject... will be granted, licensed, transferred, 
assigned or otherwise disposed of to any third par- 
ties except by prior mutual agreement ..." 

The distinctions between grants and con- 
tracts have become blurred. Traditionally a 
grant was viewed as a gift to the artist to ac- 
complish a specific artistic goal; few strings 
were attached. A contract was an agreement 
between artist and funder requiring the artist 
to produce a work and deliver it to the funder. 
In today's funding "deals," the artist 
negotiates that share of rights and ancillary 
income retained by the artist, and that share 
exercised or payable to the funder, regardless 
of whether the funding was a grant or a con- 
tract. In other words, what used to be an 
outright gift for the support of the arts, in- 
creasingly contains elements of an investment 
by the various funders. 

Furthermore, Reaganomics adds impetus 
to the trend toward funders demanding prac- 
tical returns. Cuts in government appropria- 
tions have encouraged agencies to seek repay- 
ment of post-broadcast revenues to the agen- 
cy coffers. (In fairness to the President, many 
agencies had instituted this provision before 
Reaganomics was a household word). 

Today the independent must beware of 
government agencies bearing gifts. The provi- 
sions of many granting agencies have become 
onerous, unfair and even conflicting with one 
another. 

The following specific provisions should be 
carefully studied and understood, and 
wherever possible negotiated and rejected. It 



Young Fi I makers/Video Arts 



13 Years of Continuous 

Service to the Independent 

Media Arts Community 

• Film/Video/Audio Equipment 

• Production and Post- 
Production Facilities 

• Beginning, Intermediate & 
Advanced Training 

CALL FOR FREE BROCHURE 

OF CURRENT PROGRAMS & 

SERVICES 

C7Q QQC-1 10 am— 6 pm 
Uf 0"%JOO I WEEKDAYS 

Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

4 Rivington St. NYC 10002 



IKCGRMI 730 

JVC 4700 

TRIPOD, MIK€ 

AND LIGHT 

2 P€RSON CR€W 

$600. 



P€RF€CT 
VISION 



(212) 966-2971 



APRIL •1983 




INDEPENDENT 






AT THE SAME TIME? 



As an independent video or filmmaker, you've 
decided to work "outside the system"— which 
means you need a community of peers even more. 
The Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 
(AIVF) is such a community. As the national trade 
association for independent producers, AIVF 
represents your needs and goals to government, 
industry and the general public. After eight years of 
testifying before Congress, lobbying the public TV 
system, and working through media coalitions to 
preserve and strengthen cable access, we've 
proven that together we have a voice people must & 
do listen to. 

Along with our sister organization, the Foundation 
for Independent Video & Film (FIVF), we also offer 
you a wealth of concrete services: 
* Comprehensive health insurance at affordable 
rates * The Independent Magazine, our film & 
video monthly * FIVF's Festival Bureau, providing 
foreign & domestic liaison * Comprehensive 
information services * National Membership 
Directory listing * Professional Screenings & 
Seminars 



There's 
Strength in 
Numbers. . . 

JOIN TODAY! 

□$25/yr Individual 
□$15/yr Student with ID 
□$50/yr Organization 
Add $10 Outside US & Canada 



NAME. 




ADDRESS . 



CITY/STATE/ZIP . 



Send check or money order to: AIVF, 625 Broadway, (between 
Bleecker & Houston) 9th floor, New York NY 10012. Drop by our 
offices or call (212) 473-3400. 



PRESS LIST 

AlVF's Press List for the New York area, 
listing over 200 print, radio and TV contacts in- 
terested in alternative media, is available on 
Avery labels for $10. Use it to publicize your 
screening, fundraiser or production plans. 
Easy to update, easy to use again. Call (212) 
473-3400. 



is important that agencies view grantmaking 
as support of the arts, and not the order of 60 
minutes of film on forms analogous to 
Defense Department procurement contracts. 
Funding a film inititiated by a filmmaker is 
not the same as commissioning a film. 

• OWNERSHIP: Where a major grant is 
given in consideration of certain uses (e.g., 
public broadcasting), that use should be 
reasonably limited, particularly as regards ex- 
clusivity. Specifically, public broadcasting 
use should not limit audio-visual exhibition 
and foreign sales, and any limitations on cable 
use or syndication should be reasonable. 

• ROYALTIES: When granting agencies ask 
for a percentage of income to be returned, 
they become partners in profit. However, if 
the project goes over-budget, they carefully 
avoid being partners in losses. Where a grant- 
ing agency requires exclusive television use on 
public TV (thus pre-empting the American 
broadcast market), and seeks 50% of all pro- 
fits as well, it is asking for a greater return 
than most private investors. Any profit- 
sharing should recognize at least a 50% share 
to the filmmaker. 

• ADVISORY STAFFS: Many agencies re- 
quire the filmmaker to establish costly ad- 
visory staffs. This may be important for 
scholarly research, but size, scope of in- 
fluence and cost of such panels should be 
limited in media projects. A filmmaker's time 
should be spent producing, not assembling 
panels for meetings. 

• FINANCIAL REPORTING: Accoun- 
tability to funding sources is necessary. 
However, written monthly progress reports 
(narrative and financial) can become burden- 
some. Reports at reasonable intervals and 
final reports should suffice. Some projects 
have had to take on extra staff just to report 
to funders properly. 

• ACCOUNTING: Bookkeeping and ac- 
counting reports should be kept simple. In 
one project I counseled, three funders re- 
quired three different accounting methods. 
The film was easier to do than the bookkeep- 
ing. 

• AUDITS: The costs of independent audits 
are substantial. On all but the largest of 
grants, independent audits should not be re- 
quired. If they are, they should be budgeted 
for. 

• OVERHEAD: Some granting agencies do 
not permit production fees or overhead. One 
grant read, "No grant funds may be used to 
pay . . . indirect expenses commonly referred 
to as 'overhead'." If the filmmaker is only 



10 



making a weekly salary, but not being com- 
pensated for overhead (rent, phone, utilities, 
supplies, insurance, legal and accounting), he 
or she is not being compensated for creativity, 
management or financial risk. In effect, the 
filmmaker becomes a major "subsidizer" of 
the arts and humanities. One solution is to 
"line-item" all potential overhead items and 
treat them as direct costs. Some agencies per- 
mit a standard or negotiated overhead rate. 

• FEES AND SALARIES: Filmmakers 
should budget adequate fees and salaries. 
Since many grants and contracts prohibit 
"contingency fees," production fees and pro- 
ducer salaries are often eaten up in program 
completion costs. Since many filmmakers are 
freelancers, their salaries for working weeks 
should be substantial enough to carry them 
through some modest between-job periods. 

• CREDITS: Major project funders are en- 
titled to prominent (but not obnoxious) pro- 
gram credit and promotional recognition. 
However, the filmmaker should limit credit 
requirements for small development and pro- 
duction grants to some reasonable relation- 
ship to the importance of the grant. 

• BUDGET CONTROL: The filmmaker 
should retain complete control over the 
budget, provided that production values of 
the project are not significantly reduced. 
Control over budget line items generates 
much paperwork in making changes and gives 
grantors some degree of content control 
through the purse strings. However, film- 
makers cannot reallocate production ex- 
penses to producer salary or overhead 
without just cause. 

• TERMINATION: A grantor's right to ter- 
minate should be limited to just cause. In the 
event of termination, the filmmaker should 
be paid for production expenses and com- 
mitments. If termination is for cause, the 
grantor is entitled to a return of unexpended 
funds and the work product to date. 

Filmmakers should understand that the 
funding documents they are required to sign 
are contracts; and like all contracts, the terms 
may be negotiated. Although not all terms of 
all grants and contracts are negotiable, a good 
many are. Where a granting agency is ada- 
mant "as a matter of policy," one can inquire 
as to the source of the policy and seek review 
from the policy-makers, even where the 
policy-makers are a Congressional commit- 
tee. 

In sum, it is imperative that the recipient of 
a grant or contract fully understand all of the 
obligations and restrictions of a grant or con- 
tract. Failure to recognize these limitations 
can turn the ecstasy of being a grant recipient 
into the agony of being a grant compiler. ■ 
Robert I. Freedman, partner in the entertain- 
ment law firm ofRosenblum & Freedman and 
counsel for AIVF and FIVF, represents many 
independent film and video producers. 

APRIL •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



"The Most Perfect 
Contrivance" 

Interviewing as an Unnatural Act 



HG: What is the position of your Church 
with respect to Slavery? 

B Y: We consider it of Divine institution, and 
not to be abolished until the curse pro- 
nounced on Ham shall have been removed 
from his descendants. 

The date: July 13, 1859. The place: Salt 
Lake City. "HG" is Horace ("Go west, 
young man; go west!") Greeley. Greeley, 
union activist, reporter, social crusader and 
editor, was one of the last representatives of 
that style of journalist who could and did do 
everything on his paper. "BY" is Brigham 
Young, head of the Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-Day Saints. And the occasion is the 
first newspaper interview in modern question- 
and-answer form. 

There was something corrupting about this 
development. Before interviews, newspapers 
were filled with accounts and opinions. Opi- 
nions in the form of editorials had crept in 
slowly, firstly as essays addressed to the 
editor, then (in at least one instance) in 
italicized columns and finally in their modern 
format in about 1800. Originally it was 
thought that the proper place for such expres- 
sion was in pamphlets; but as the 18th century 
wore on, the pamphlet yielded preeminence as 
a platform to the paper. Editorials were the 
first element within the pages of a newspaper 
to be, as it were, generated by the newspaper 
itself rather than occasioned by reflexive 
response to outside events. 

Interviews became common practice in the 
1870s — but not without objections. The inter- 
view was described as "the most perfect con- 
trivance yet devised to make journalism an of- 
fence, a thing of ill savor in all decent 
nostrils." The basis of this opprobrium was 
that the interview gave reporters a license to 
invade privacy. Others were also worried 
about the degree of collusion that could be 
present: "The 'interview' (sic) as at present 
managed is generally the joint product of 
some humbug of a hack politican and another 
humbug of a reporter." But more important 
than either of these objections is the fact that 
interviews massively extend the self-generated 
element in newspaper copy — that is, editors 
and journalists, not events, initiate verbiage. 
Within a decade, the techniques of the inter- 
view had been extended to encompass all the 
subterfuges that are part and parcel of 
APRIL 9 1983 



BRIAN WINSTON 

modern investigative reporting: journalists 
disguising themselves, unnamed sources and 
the creation rather than the reporting of 
stories. 

A POWERFUL PRACTICE 

Of course, newspapers had from their very 
beginnings reported in their own words ac- 
counts of events witnessed by others. One 
such appears to be the story of the death of 
Blackbeard the Pirate published in 1719. 
More significantly, occasional question-and- 
answer pieces appeared before Greeley's en- 
counter with Young, in connection with crime 
stories. This was no accident. The form of the 
interview is based, quite obviously, on the 
techniques of courtroom interrogation. Cru- 
cially, the mismatched power of the lawyer 
and the witness in that situation is carried over 
into the newspaper and all subsequent inter- 
view practices. 

So for more than a century, the interview 
has been a central technique despite all these 
flaws. Changing technologies have swept 
away any objections that might have been 
made to it. Radio reinforced it, and slowly 
documentary film came to it, too. 

It would be nice to think that film's lag- 
gardness in adopting interviews was a reflec- 
tion of greater sensitivity, but in fact the lack 
of appropriate synch equipment is a more per- 
tinent cause of delay. Housing Problems 



(1935, Great Britain) displays the essential 
difficulty of obtaining synch material with 
film equipment designed for use not in the 
slums but in the studio. By the Fifties, when 
portable synch cameras were made available, 
interviews became a central part of the reper- 
toire of television newspeople and film 
documentarists alike. 

Again, this was not exempt from debate, 
but arguments seem to fall into two cat- 
egories. For proponents of direct cinema, in- 
terviews were, with narration and recon- 
struction, the touchstone of mediation and 
were not to be allowed in any circumstances, 
except when a subject voluntarily addressed 
the camera. For those less rigorous, the topic 
was not so clear-cut, and the proper, accep- 
table ways of conducting interviews have been 
much discussed. (The rigors of the former 
position, twenty years on, seem extremely 
facile. Mediation is not simply a question of 
reconstruction and overt intervention in nar- 
ration or interviews. Avoiding all three of 
these still left filmmakers firmly in control of 
the material. Disingenuousness currently 
characterizes the remains of direct cinema 
rhetoric. On the one hand, one hears it com- 
monly argued that of course direct cinema 
films are subjective. But on the other hand, it 
may be properly claimed, the continued 
deployment of the techniques of direct 
cinema suggest to the audience — at least that 




THE INDEPENDENT 



audience outside of filmmaking circles and 
the classroom — a supposed objectivity. In 
this light the assertion of the self-evident 
nature of the subjectivity is to have one's cake 
and eat it with a vengeance.) 

In this discussion, "interview" is limited to 
the issues of formal question-and-answer in- 
terviews of the type directly traceable back to 
the 19th-century practice. In received profes- 
sional opinion, direct observation is deemed 
to be better than talking heads — although the 
dangers of documenting the subject's back 
(which is what happens when you simply 
follow people around) never seem to me to be 
so obviously superior to filming his or her 
face. Also, the implied constant question 
posed by the presence of the observing camera 
is seldom addressed by practicing profes- 
sionals. As a result, the debate about formal 
question-and-answer interviews is sterile, for 
it adds these particular perceptions (or 
misperceptions) to the messiness of the idea of 
the interview inherited from the older media. 

PERFORMING ARTS 

As usual in such circumstances, people are 
a lot more willing to discuss techniques than 
principles. Techniques for interviews range 
from the shouted interrogatory across the 
garden gate (the Mike Wallace approach) to 
the careful rehearsal of responses. The BBC 
director, Philip Donnellan, for instance, 
records hours of material on audiotape and 
uses selected sections as the basis of a repeat 
performance from his subjects. Every possi- 
ble variation in between these poles has been 
tried. 

Two things can be said about this debate: 
The final result on the screen of this most 
mediated of devices is, paradoxically, a talk- 
ing head seemingly addressing the audience 
without intervention. This is true even if the 
subject is looking off-camera, and is certainly 
the case if the lens is directly addressed. 
Secondly, in the interview footage there is 
seldom any acknowledgement of the essential 
maldistribution of power between the inter- 
viewee and the (often unseen and, these days, 
rarely heard) interviewer. These factors apply 
to almost all the various interviewing tech- 
niques now used. They combine to make in- 
terviews at least as suspect as reconstructional 
devices. 

From this standpoint the documentary film 
interview. is worse, because more apparently 
natural and transparent than its newspaper pre- 
decessor. For the audience to understand 
what transaction is actually being filmed re- 
quires no little detective skill. In The Day 
After Trinity to take a totally typical example, 
the interviewer intervenes only to establish the 
responses which must have conditioned the 
decision to interview in the first place. 
Elizabeth Ingram, who witnessed the Trinity 
blast tells about her sister who experienced the 
blinding flash of the bomb. Then the film- 
maker Jon Else asks: "Was there anything 
odd about your sister asking about the 
light?", a question which elicits the punch 

12 



line: "She was blind." Current practice, 
unless it drops its guard a little as in this ex- 
ample, goes to considerable lengths to 
disguise the interview's unnatural quality as 
performance. 




Hello 



Good-Bye 



Con g ratulations 

Welcome to Isaac Jackson (top) who was 
hired in February as FIVF Program Director. 
After a year plus of grueling labor, John 
Greyson, AIVF/FIVF programmer, art director, 
advocate and in-house indie consultant, is 
leaving to work on his sex-and-youth block- 
buster video series. Deborah Payne has taken 
over the design of house print materials and the 
art direction of The Independent. 



TRUMP CARD: AGENDA 

This would be of less importance were it not 
the case that this subterfuge of the apparently 
unrehearsed "natural" response masks the 
same crucial exercise of power that has been 
the essence of the interview from its begin- 
nings in the courtroom. Power in human in- 
terchange is articulated through agendas. In 
conversation agendas are set democratically 
among participants. That is not to say that all 
conversations are even-handed: Obviously, 
social superiority and inferiority affect this. 
Culturally disadvantaged speakers (women 
often, kids, members of ethnic minorities, 
people lacking eloquence )-exercise their rights 
in setting agendas less effectively than more 
powerfully placed interlocutors. But the point 
is that there is nothing built into the structure 
of normal conversation that systematically 
prevents a more rather than less equal 
distribution of agenda-setting power. 

Formal exchanges derive their very formali- 
ty from a redistribution of this power in favor 
of one party rather than the other. The power 
of the chair at all formal meetings derives 
from the chair's ability to set and stand by 
previously established agendas. In our legal 
system, disputes about that agenda are con- 
ducted not between interviewer and inter- 
viewee, but between the interviewer and an 
alternate interviewer in the person of oppos- 
ing counsel. The interviewee has nothing to 
say about this. 

The same unequal quality is present in news 
interviews. In the study I did some years ago 
of British television news, the agenda-setting 
function of the broadcasters and its power 
could be easily seen. Typically the interviewer, 
with his (no women industrial reporters in 
Britain) mind set on a series of questions 
about so-called "avoidable strikes," would 
ienore all answers from workers which sought 



;o explain how such strikes were not 
"unavoidable." The interviewee in such 
situations is engaged in the task of wresting 
the agenda from the interviewer. But he or she 
stands little chance. For should they manage 
this effectively, they will simply finish up on 
the cutting room floor, the whole exercise be- 
ing dismissed as a not-very-good interview. 

The subject's rights in documentary film 
material is a vexed topic. Observational work 
of any kind clearly disadvantages the subject 
in favor of the filmmaker, if the subject 
reserves no rights of editing or review. With 
interviews the subject is in even greater trou- 
ble. As often as not they have lost out before 
the filming of the interview is concluded. Just 
as a rhetoric of artistic integrity often justifies 
the filmmakers' refusal to allow subjects into 
the cutting room, so a rhetoric of journalistic 
probity enshrines this maldistribution of 
power in interviews. Everything from badly 
conditioning the subject's response (where 
"badly" means getting a response that is stiff, 
formal or in other ways not "natural") to 
avoiding the sin of collusion are given as 
reasons for so treating interviews. 

But none of these excuses holds water. The 
interview is an unnatural act. If honesty is to 
be sought, the unnaturalness of the act needs 
to be acknowledged. As with all other aspects 
of documentary film, it seems to me that the 
paramount issue is not what was or was not 
done during the filmmaking process but 
rather what relationship existed between the 
filmmaker and the subject. If it was one which 
sought or even managed to equalize the power 
between the two parties, the actual techniques 
deployed are of little importance. If the sub- 
ject truly knows and participates in the pro- 
cess, then the most careful of rehearsed inter- 
views may well be the most acceptable way to 
go. 

If, on the other hand, the subject is in his or 
her usual position (which — given the pre- 
ponderance of films about the victims of 
society — is usually supine), what does the so- 
called integrity of the interview technique 
matter? Being honest with the interviewee 
means not entrapping or seeking to destroy 
them. Adopting this approach would mean 
interviews emerging in all their unnatural, 
stiff and formal glory. It would mean fewer 
tears and heartbreaks on screen. It would 
mean the audience knew it was watching a 
performance. 

Of course, if the distribution of power is the 
other way — as, say between documentaries 
and politicians or other honchos well able to 
take care of themselves — then let Mike 
Wallace rule the roost. (Would that he would 
tackle some of these folk rather than endlessly 
persecuting the middlemen in the con game of 
life!) But even here a case can and should be 
made for the interview standing free for what 
it is: a totally mediated element, so mediated 
that no technique or system can ever make it 
kosher. I 

Brian Winston is chair of the New York 
University Cinema Studies Department. 

APRIL •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



SUPERS 



The State of Things: 
Media Arts Centers 

TONI TREADWAY&BOB BRODSKY 



During 1982 we visited about a third of the 
Media Arts Centers (MACs) around the US, 
most of them on an NEA Media Arts work- 
shop grant to teach Super-8 production, post- 
production and transfer to video. It was an in- 
credible five-month experience for us cottage 
industry folk. Visiting with a number of 
thoroughly dedicated media professionals 
and arts administrators, we found them, as a 
bunch, very good to be with but at times 
frighteningly sober about the state of their 
MACs. Everyone was grateful to be able to 
work in the field (some doubted their sanity, 
while others had buried the question), and vir- 
tually all were quite clear on the importance 
of the media arts and independent producers 
to the health of the nation. 

By the time we arrived at the Alabama 
Film-Makers Co-op, our eighth stop, we were 
beginning to discern a pattern of problems 
which applied across the country despite wide 
variations in budgets and support structures. 
(Our impressions are drawn from our ex- 
periences at Film Arts Foundation, BAVC 
and Video Free America, San Francisco; 
Contemporary Arts Center and NO VAC, 
New Orleans; IMAGE Film/Video, Atlanta; 
South Carolina Arts Commission and Univer- 
sity of South Carolina Media Arts, Columbia; 
Appalshop, Whitesburg KY; Media Study, 
Buffalo; Rocky Mountain Film Center, 
Boulder; and RIT and Portable Channel, 
Rochester, NY.) Difficulties centered on the 
use of funds, not their abundance (or 
scarcity). We discovered that growth, while 
welcome, could produce considerable strains. 
For one, as activities burgeon, it isn't always 
clear what MAC programs and services are 
crucial, and increased membership usually 
means decreased direct participation in 
decision-making. Constantly expanding pro- 
grams often cause burn-out of the usually 
low-paid and/or volunteer staff. Also, ac- 
quisition of major equipment can upset the 
balance of priorities. 

Our travel stories illustrate many of these 
strains and how dedicated MACers cope with 
them. In New Orleans we were met at the air- 
port by CAC's Kris Pottharst, who refused to 
let us pay airport parking, pleading Southern 
hospitality. She had volunteered to pick us up 
without reimbursement for time or costs, 
knowing that this contribution would stretch 
the Center's funds a bit further. The age and 
condition of her car indicated that she is living 
on a shoestring. While in New Orleans, 
APRIL •1983 



NOVAC's Karen Kern put us up for two 
nights on the same terms. 

SUCCESS, A MIXED BLESSING 

Such dedication to MAC programs has 
placed many MAC staffers and volunteers in 
a chronic condition of near burn-out. Strong 
support for media artists invites more re- 
quests for it, and so the staff finds itself facing 
more and more requests for programs and 
services. What began in virtually every loca- 
tion as a small group of artists banding 
together for mutual support and encourage- 
ment has evolved, in most places, into a (still) 
anti-bureaucratic mini-mob of talented low- 
paid staff and volunteers climbing all over one 
another to accomplish programs and provide 
services as well as possible. Mutual support 
isn't what it used to be, and demands are far 
greater. 

In every city we were eagerly asked whom 
we'd met, what we'd seen and what others 
were doing. At first we couldn't figure out 
why the need to know was so strong. Staffers 
were tired; the last thing they seemed to need 
was more information. There was also a dis- 
tinct lack of the familiar competitive edge. No 
one was interested in stealing anyone else's 
idea or program (although within cities, vague 
mistrust did exist). Finally, we realized that 
the MAC people simply wanted to know 



about each other. They wanted the kind of 
vocational and emotional support that can 
only come from other people who deal with 
the same demands and opportunities. 

For the moment, we were the bearers of the 
support. We had information from and about 
their peers in other MACs and that was what 
was wanted: most staffers didn't need our 
technical stuff at all. The technical info was 
for their constituents. Even the tech staff peo- 
ple seemed more interested in problems, solu- 
tions and personalities of other MACs than in 
our technical expertise. In return, the MAC 
staffers were quick to share with us what little 
information they knew about other centers. A 
big topic of discussion in both New Orleans 
and Columbia was the exchanged use of a KY 
camera. There was talk of Media Study's 
peripatetic Gerry O'Grady, who has been ex- 
periencing the media arts scene for many 
years and always gives practical advice. 

For those that don't already subscribe, ac- 
cess to a low-cost long-distance phone service, 
and encouragement from directors and 
boards for staffers to use it, would be a major 
step in enabling the MACs to do better work. 
A newsletter, however carefuly crafted, can- 
not provide the professional or emotional 
support of a face-to-face or phone contact. 
Grandma Bell knows. The vocational isola- 
tion inherent in a regional MAC system can be 
overcome. 

Increased contact among MAC staffers 
could go a long way toward addressing the 
problem of managing growth. How indi- 
vidual MACs decide what services and pro- 
grams they are going to offer (both expanding 
and curtailing), how they manage the im- 
plementation of their moves, and how those 
moves actually affect the media artists 
regionally are matters insufficiently discussed 
among different centers. 

In the early years, the individual MACs 
could usually get their constituents to a 
meeting to thrash things out. Now, with 



Toni Treadway teaches a Super-8 workshop in Columbia, South Carolina. 




THE INDEPENDENT 



larger, diffused constituencies, such decisions 
are necessarily made by individuals or small 
groups within the organization. As often as 
not, information pertinent to decision- 
making is sketchy, and constituent response 
cannot be accurately anticipated. A common 
approach is to offer something simply be- 
cause it's new rather than because it's hot with 
local artists. Our workshops drew crowds as 
large as 60 and as small as 12, but only in a few 
centers did the workshop coordinators say 
they felt they had really identified and 
notified the potential regional constituency 
for such a program. 

Over the years the MACs have developed a 
great deal of expertise. Those staffers who 
have had long-term continued success (two 
years or more) are good ones to talk with. For 
example, Bob Shea of Portable Channel has 
had success in obtaining equipment access. 
Catherine Pearson at Appalshop knows 
about financing and planning an entire 
building rehabilitation; she also knows about 
MAC film and record distribution. At Media 
Study /Buffalo, Lynn Corcoran has guided 
independent works ontolocal PTV. Probably 
none of these people would consider them- 
selves authorities, but they are. 

It is inevitable that with age and a measure 
of success MACs become more difficult to 
manage. More information must be gathered 
and weighed, more people need to be involved 



BULLETIN BOARD 

BULLETIN 

We appreciate receiving notices for 
posting from AIVF members. Please con- 
tinue to keep us aware of available ser- 
vices, screenings, festivals, job openings, 
and miscellaneous information! In order to 
keep the bulletin boards neat and all notices 
visible, we will remove posted material after 
two months unless otherwise noted. If you 
wish to keep a notice posted continuously, 
please send us a periodic reminder. 



in decision-making, more loose ends have to 
be tied up. It's a tribute to MAC staffers that 
they've done so much with so little. But our 
visits revealed a near-universal need for better 
ways to manage growth, both in fundamental 
philosophy and nitty-gritty methodology. 
The NEA-funded NAMAC meeting, this year 
scheduled for June 8-11 in Minneapolis-St. 
Paul, presents an opportunity for MAC di- 
rectors and staffers to cover a lot of ground. 
It's worth a special appeal to board members 
for travel funds if they aren't already squir- 
reled away. 

One area of concern that we would like to 
see talked about informally is equipment. It 
surprised us that while most MACs possess 
good to excellent 3 A " video editing, few had 
even satisfactory video or film exhibition 



equipment. Although apologies for the sorry 
state of projectors, sound, monitors and 
playback decks were always forthcoming, the 
exciting equipment conversation was often 
about how to obtain a CMX. We wonder if 
CMX is not something that might best be 
located (and maintained) in a few centers 
around the country, while most MACs con- 
cern themselves with time code and off-line 
editing. Similar concerns centered around 1 " 
and high-speed Vi " technology. 

Film equipment is now more a matter of 
collecting (or seeking donations) than of pur- 
chase. A national equipment clearinghouse 
for MACs, including technical support and 
training, could expedite this exchange. A na- 
tional equipment plan for MACs would allow 
fundraising on the local level with more-than- 
local authority. More funds could then be 
devoted to successful artist residency pro- 
grams, rather than to attempts to garner a full 
complement of state-of-the-art equipment at 
every center. 

The more artists travel around, the more 
networking is possible, the more emotional 
support, problem-solving and restoration 
from burn-out can happen. In the meantime, 
there's the telephone. ■ 

Toni Treadway and Bob Brodsky are 
authors of Super 8 in the Video Age. Tread- 
way is president of the Boston Film/ Video 
Foundation. 




YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (2 1 2) 244-8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 



Member AICP 



(213)858-1848 



14 



APRIL •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



A Talk with 
Chris Spotted Eagle 

Whether laying plans for a broadcast TV station or 

producing "The Great Spirit Within the Hole" (about Indians in the 

clink), this long distance media runner never gets winded. 



Chris Spotted Eagle has had one of the most 
varied and lengthy careers of the handful of 
Native American producers living in this 
country. He has chased celebrities as a news 
photographer for Life and Look, he has run 
the production department at the Benton and 
Bowles advertising agency. He has 
represented Indian groups abroad, freelanced 
as a NABET cameraman and spent three 
years as a field producer at KTCA-TV in 
Minneapolis. Born a Choctaw from the New 
Orleans area, Spotted Eagle grew up in the 
mid-Atlantic states. Although he only finish- 
ed grade school, he managed to carve out a 
niche for himself in New York. 

As a person with one foot in the white 
world and one in the Indian, he has been par- 
ticularly adept at sketching an inside view of 
Native American experience which can also 
touch the hearts and minds of a non-Native 
audience. Frequently his work points up the 
ironies of the two contrasting cultures. In Cel- 
ebration, a documentary about a Wisconsin 
powwow, he notes how the circumstances which 
make a white man visit a shrink give Indians 
the urge to go dancing. Another piece, Do In- 
dians Shave?, turns misconceptions about 
outlandish garb and customs upside down. In 
it, he and his all-Indian crew visit the Fifth 
Avenue Easter Parade to interview the color- 
fully attired "natives. " When asked if Indians 
drive cars, one matron replies that she doesn 't 
think so, since she has never seen one do it. 

Since commercial media offer few oppor- 
tunities to them, Native American producers 
have turned to public TV, with mixed results. 
As Spotted Eagle puts it, to work in the PTV 
system you need to get those crucial grants, 
and for that you have to be a "long-distance 
runner, not a sprinter. " Through his activities 
at the Native American Public Broadcasting 
Consortium he is in a position to see some of 
the difficulties of the process and identify the 
efforts at changing the odds in a system which 
still leaves Indian America virtually invisible. 
In the following interview, the producer dis- 
cusses the NAPBC and some current projects. 

SUYAPA ODESSA FLORES: Among 
Native Americans, how has consciousness 
about media changed over the last decade? 

CHRIS SPOTTED EAGLE: Things have 
APRIL 9 1983 



SUYAPA ODESSA FLORES 

changed for the better: A number of Native 
American groups have come into existence 
over the last ten years. For instance, here in 
Minneapolis, we have Migizi Communica- 
tions Group, which disseminates Indian news 
nationally. The Twin Cities area is a one- 
newspaper town. It addresses Indian issues, 



lot of people have made it a priority, many see 
communications and media as an issue. 

I am currently secretary/treasurer for the 
Indian Communications Corporation, a new 
organization which has filed an application 
for a full TV station in Lincoln, Nebras- 
ka — the first one. The board of the Native 




Chris Spotted Eagle in his office pondering whether Indians shave. 



but it certainly doesn't do it to the liking of 
the Indian people. On reservations we have 
always had newspapers and newsletters for 
local use. Here we have one small newspaper 
that reaches a few people. The Circle goes na- 
tionally, but because of insufficient staffing, 
it doesn't cover the issues of interest to the 
population around here. So it's very impor- 
tant to use cable and TV and radio to reach 
more people with more material. 

SOF: Is this really integrated into the reserva- 
tions? 

CSE: The Pine Ridge Reservation has 
established a radio station, and the Couderay 
in Wisconsin have a full-blown station going, 
covering the whole region — I think it's 
100,000 Watts. Over a dozen radio stations 
are run and owned by Native people. And 
now we have the Native American Public 
Broadcasting Consortium. Our consortium 
did a CPB-funded study to find out what peo- 
ple wanted to see on TV and radio. I gather 
there are a couple of reservations with cable 
(one Apache, I think): there's interest in 
satellite and low-power TV. Although not a 



American Public Broadcasting Consortium 
became the officers of the new corporation. It 
will take a lot of money to develop, like any 
TV station. But our board feels very op- 
timistic, being that we are the only ones. 

SOF: How does the Native American com- 
munity regard the public TV consortium? 

CSE: The NAPBC has a very small staff: 2 '/: 
people right now. There's always a problem 
of producing enough, and communicating. 
So I have heard people ask, "What are they 
doing?" — though not in any accusatory way. 
It seems that not much of the community is 
aware of what they are doing, except for 
groups and individuals who are concerned 
with communications. It's not a social sevice 
organization which people are used to, like 
health and so on. So it doesn't deal with peo- 
ple on a grassroots level. 

NAPBC acts as a facilitator for the produc- 
tion of Native American programing, for 
training programs and for information ex- 
change among public TV stations and federal 
agencies. It also communicates job vacancies 
in its newsletter, and sponsors a yearly media 

15 



THE INDEPENDENT 



conference called the National Indian Com- 
munications Conference, which will be held 
this year from May 15 to 18 at the Holiday Inn 
in downtown Minneapolis. 

SOF: What kind of productions is NAPBC 

involved in? 

CSE: Recently, the NAPBC did a three-part 
series on Indian artists, with a $250,000 grant 
from CPB. Another piece that went through 
the Consortium was a half-hour film on 
children, which was produced by NAPBC 
chairman Wallace Coffey. We are trying to in- 
crease our production capacity but we don't 
have a production house or facilities. Only the 
proposals come out of our office: we seek 
funding and assign a producer. At present we 
have a couple of proposals in the works to do 
shows for national public TV. 

I don't think we are really making much 
headway in communications — for one thing, 
because I think we are being pushed or locked 
out. And we don't have the capital resources 
to make anything go. Indians are the poorest 
of the lot, of all the minorities in this country, 
and it takes capital to make this electronic 
thing go. I feel I have a very heavy respon- 
sibility, being one of the handful of working 
Indian producers in the country. 

As an independent it's really hard to make 
it, especially with the PTV stations. On the 
one hand they seem to want to serve the 
public, which is diverse, and yet they 
mainstream and play the ratings game which 
tends to exclude us. There isn't a concerted ef- 
fort to get programming by and for minor- 
ities, and that leaves us the invisible people 
once again. There has to be outreach and 
positive efforts, because Indians have a dif- 
ferent style and place a low priority on ag- 
gression. These Native American projects 
need nurturing. 

Some time ago I talked with Russell Means 
out on the Pine Ridge Reservation about how 
the white man is into using satellite for com- 
munications while we are still trying to figure 
out how to run our mimeograph machine. 
And I think that holds true to a certain ex- 
tent — not because of our inability to deal with 
mechanical things or our ignorance, but 
because it takes money and resources to get 
into these areas. And on a subjective level, a 
lot of Indian people distrust the mass me- 
dia — and rightly so, considering the way they 
have been reported on. Therefore there isn't a 
great desire to seize the tool that has harmed 
you. 

SOF: We know the problem, but how do you 
correct it? 

CSE: One of the areas, is, of course, trying to 
create productions and have within proposals 
line items for Indian apprentices. Also, we 
have scholarships for people to attend our 
National Indian Media Conference, though it 
may be for journalism or another area. Some 
of us are talking about creating some special 
training, crash courses for Indian 
people. 

One new film in the works now is called 
16 



Geronimo 's Cadillac. This is an independent 
feature for commercial viewing in theatres, a 
low-budget film in the area of $3 million. The 
producer is Ralph Liddle and the lead, Pius 
Savage. There will be eight speaking parts for 
Indian people and ten non-speaking parts. 
It's about an Indian person who gets out of 
military service and aspires to be a rodeo bull 
rider. If the feature is successful, it will be 
used as a vehicle to create training programs 
for Indian people to produce and make films. 
By generating interest on a national level, it 
can attract other organizations to supply 
resources and facilities. 




Lacrosse players in Celebration. Since, in the 
traditional version of this Native American sport, 
goalposts were as much as five miles apart, it kept 
warriors in shape. 

SOF: Tell me about your current work. 

CSE: I am involved in a production called 
Our Sacred Land, a half-hour film documen- 
tary about a sacred mountain in South 
Dakota: Mato Paha, or as the white people 
call it, Bear Butte. Initially, I got a grant from 
the NEA to do it, and I also have funding 
from CPB's Life and Death and Other Mat- 
ters. The program is about freedom of 
religion for our people and will focus on peo- 
ple who believe in this mountain: the different 
tribes and their concern at how it's being 
desecrated, the threat of its being used for 
other than as a place of worship. We will also 
touch on the surrounding area, the Black 
Hills. It will be a documentary, but I would 
like to incorporate in it imagery to convey 
spirituality. 

There are two other projects. One is called 
The Great Spirit Within the Hole, a one-hour 
film documentary for PBS, funded by CPB. 
It's in post-production now: we are into our 
second edit. I am currently writing narration 
for it. Hopefully the film will be finished by 
the end of March, and will possibly be aired in 
the fall. Great Spirit Within the Hole is about 
Indians in prison, and will have music by Buf- 
fy Sainte-Marie. It's an upbeat piece about 
cultural survival and the practice of Indian 
religion in the prisons. Indianotions is a per- 
sonal documentary, now in the pre-produc- 
tion stage. I received a grant from Film in the 
Cities to do that. It will address how I see the 
world around me as a person with one foot in 
the white world and one in the Indian. And I 
hope to be irreverent. 

SOF: Do you personally have visual ideas 



that you might call a Native American 
aesthetic? 

CSE: I must admit that to some degree I am 
acculturated, by the fact of what I do. My vi- 
sion would not necessarily be thought of as 
Indian, because film and video is not a tradi- 
tional tool, versus pottery, weaving, painting 
on skins and so on. Of course the way I see 
and what I can bring to the screen, its pacing, 
demeanor, approach may reflect Indian at- 
titudes. But to identify it as "Indian" may be 
difficult, because a lot of other people might 
say, "I would pick the same approach." 

SOF: Would they really, though? 

CSE: Maybe they could, but the subtleties of 
Indian culture would be missed. An example 
(and this is not so subtle) is a TV program seg- 
ment I did on a spiritual leader saying a Sioux 
prayer with a ceremonial peace pipe. I cut it in 
such a way that the entire prayer in Sioux is in 
one piece, with cutaways of my subject saying 
in English what he was saying in Sioux in the 
prayer. The program director suggested that I 
cut the visuals to match what he's saying when 
he is facing East, then show East. In essence, 
then, I would have chopped up the prayer in 
pieces. It was as if I took the Lord's Prayer 
and chopped it all up to fit Indian Television 
— would a Christian like it? So that kind of 
sensitivity to Indian culture that is lacking in a 
non-Indian is there with me, and what is 
essential to be documented I would under- 
stand and bring to the screen. But it wouldn't 
look as different as a Picasso. 

SOF: If you could make any kind of program 
you wanted, under any conditions, what 
would it be? 

CSE: If I could do a feature-length film that 
dealt with General Custer from an Indian 
perspective, and really involve the whole 
historical era, that's one thing I would really 
have fun doing. I could hire thousands of In- 
dians. . . 
SOF: Why Custer? 

CSE: Because of the educational system 
here, he seems to stand out in the minds of 
most Americans as a hero. But General 
Custer was a son of a bitch, a murderer and an 
insane person. I would do it in a way that 
would be very satirical. On the other hand, 
maybe I'd do it very much like The Battle of 
Algiers, where you felt you were right there in 
it. But certainly I'd portray how Indian peo- 
ple saw the situation. All the documentation 
on those episodes comes from the Wester 
point of view. The Indian point of view is not 
on paper; it's oral history. 

There have been many, many confronta- 
tions between Indian people and the invaders, 
the white people, where the Indians were ex- 
tremely successful in their battles, and they 
did it well and with grace. They were defend- 
ing their home and their people. I would like 
to do a feature film on the Sioux uprising here 
in Minnesota in which 38 Indians were hung 
at once, 119 years ago. Essentially, it was a 
continued p. 27 

APRIL • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Native American 
Media Makers at Work 

• 

"Filmmaking is a natural extension of my 

culture. Everything we did was 'show and tell, ' using 

visual image, oral skill and drama. " — Phil Lucas 



Until recently, most thinking about Native 
American involvement in film and video 
centered on how the "image" of Indians and 
Eskimos came to be. But over the past 15 
years in both the US and Canada, Native 
Americans have become increasingly active 
making films and tapes. The following survey 
focuses on independents and on the organiza- 
tions engaged either in production or in the 
development of broadcast media controlled 
by Native Americans. 

The approximately 250 existing American 
Indian and Eskimo groups continue to main- 
tain a high degree of cultural diversity, even as 
new groupings form and new identities take 
shape under the pressure of migration. In ad- 
dition to Native Americans living on tradi- 
tional lands, many communities have sprung 
up in such cities as Minneapolis, Los Angeles 
and Seattle. These population shifts have in 
turn generated a demand for different com- 
munications systems, both for the specific 
needs of city-dwellers and for contact between 
urban and rural areas. 

Many independent film and videomakers 
document Native American cultures, and 
remarkable works have come both from 
Native producers and directors and non- 
Natives. Even work produced by non-Natives 
tends to rely on close cooperation with Native 
people — as speakers in documentaries, as 
consultants and sometimes as tribal groups 
who commission work. But the question re- 
mains: If the media is dominated by non- 
Native Americans, will the right questions be 
asked? Will the right people respond? The 
growth of Native American filmmaking 
becomes an urgent test of the ability of 
documentary cinema to expand the 
paradigms of its language to include the par- 
ticular results of the particular experiences of 
Native American people who become film- 
makers. 

In a recent assessment of broadcast needs, 
the Native American Public Broadcasting 
Consortium (NAPBC) found that Native 
communities and organizations want more 
complete news coverage of Native Americans 
as well as more attention to such topics as 
health and employment. By contrast, most 
public television stations produce programs 
on Native American culture. Especially when 
stressing contemporary life, these works are 
APRIL • 1983 



ELIZABETH WEATHERFORD 

relevant, but they are primarily about rather 
than for Native viewers. Many projects serv- 
ing Native American needs have been possible 
only because Native American independents 
have intended to show a variety of contem- 
porary concerns and have worked for com- 
munity control of media. 



now based in Seattle, where he works on a 
variety of Canadian and American projects, 
most with Native American subject matter. 
He produced the first television series con- 
cerned with a Native critique to be repeatedly 
broadcast nationally. Through interviews and 
excellent film clips, Images of Indians ana- 




Phil Lucas momentarily despairs on the White House lawn during shooting of Images of Indians. 



INDEPENDENTS 

"Filmmaking is a natural extension of my 
culture. Everything we did was 'show and 
tell,' using visual image, oral skill and drama. 
Take a piece of technology and place it be- 
tween storyteller and audience. It just allows 
the account to be remembered and a wide au- 
dience to see it . . . None of our Indian tradi- 
tions need to be lost. But we have to find ways 
to translate them in this world." Phil Lucas 
speaks eloquently of the appropriateness of 
filmmaking as the expressive medium for a 
contemporary Native American. Like many 
of his generation (Lucas is in his early 40s), a 
primary experience has been boarding school 
and culture breaking. Lucas, a Choctaw, is 



lyzed just how the "Hollywood" Indian was 
created by the film industry. Currently Lucas 
is working with James Thibaut's production 
group to prepare a broadcast series based on 
Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded 
Knee. He is also in the early stages of making 
films for a national Canadian Indian cur- 
riculum. How does an Indian filmmaker 
undertake projects? "You become the best 
'hunter,'" says Lucas. "You prepare yourself 
in the best way and then call the work to 
you." 

Other independents also stress serving the 
interests of contemporary Indians. And they 
are engaged in more than confronting film 
stereotypes and romantic or negative image- 
making. As Sandra Osawa has observed, 

17 



THE INDEPENDENT 




I'd Rather Be Powwowing by George P. Horse Capture. 

"Our problem is not that we are stereotyped, 
although this is true. The real problems is that 
for most non-Indians we are invisible." 
Osawa, a video documentarian, focuses on 
contemporary Indians and their experiences 
in their own and the dominant culture. 
Recently Osawa has been interested in por- 
traying Indian humor and the tribal council 
leaders — two subject areas which have been 
poorly received by the dominant culture. Her 
scripts are true to Indian sensibility. But her 
non-Native script readers have insisted that 
these characterizaions are not "authentic." 
The contemporary life of Indian people just 
doesn't seem real in a society inundated with 
images, which shows how thoroughly the 
dominant culture controls the criteria for 
evaluation. 

Although the number of independent In- 
dian and Eskimo production companies is 
quite small, they are powerfully applying 
Native American experience to films and 
videotapes. In 1981 the first PBS film with an 
entire Native American crew was broadcast 
nationally. Produced by George Horse Cap- 
ture and funded by the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting, I'd Rather Be Powwow- 
ing follows a Gros Ventre man participating 
in the fellowship and spiritual revival of a 
modern powwow. Recent independent Cana- 
dian series have ranged from Bob Brant and 
Geoff Voyce's Northern American Indian Arts 
and Crafts to Simon Brascoupe's Nouise 
Kene, about health care. Along with Osawa's 
The Black Hills Are Not for Sale, Carole 
Korb's new film on three leaders from nor- 
thern California (Again, A Whole Person I 
Have Become) and Chris Spotted Eagle's 
Celebration highlight events and attitudes 
usually absent from the traditional media. 
Likewise, Edgar Heap of Birds' Times Square 
Project offers a pointed commentary on how 
Native people experience white culture. 

While broadcast television has been a ma- 
jor outlet for Native American media, other 
institutions provide frequent exposure. The 
NAPBC makes work available to broadcast 

18 



TV. The Museum of the American Indian's 
Film Information Service publishes a cat- 
alogue, consults with filmmakers and re- 
searchers, and regularly exhibits work. The 
American Indian Film Festival is held annual- 
ly in San Francisco. Directed by Michael 
Smith, the Festival selects outstanding recent 
fiction and documentary projects concerned 
with Native Americans, and frequently by 
Native American filmmakers. 

TRIBAL MEDIA 

In some circumstances, tribal groups 
themselves have developed their own audio- 
visual departments, with productions for 
tribal or sometimes more public use. Tribal 
activities range from media departments 
funded by the tribal government to indepen- 
dents from the tribe organizing their own pro- 
jects, often as part of curriculum develop- 
ment. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw In- 
dians, for example, received funding under 
the now-defunct Ethnic Heritage Program of 
the US Office of Education. In 1982 project 
director Bill Brescia produced two videotapes 
about the contemporary tribe and Choctaw 
traditional arts. For his 1983 project Brescia 
has gotten high school Choctaws to script 
and produce their own videotapes. 

In Arizona, independent videomaker Vic- 
tor Masayesva is working in the Hopi com- 
munity where he grew up to prepare video- 
tapes for the Hotevilla-Bacavi Community 
School. "Our production here is geared to 
Hopi people; we try to reach the villages and 
community centers by airing bits and pieces 
on an NBC affiliate station in Flagstaff. And 
we have used Federal funding to develop cur- 
riculum materials for the schools." Not only 
oral history but also reservation health and 
cultural issues are the themes of the work, 
most of which are in the Hopi language. The 
community school, formerly controlled by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is now governed 
by a ooard of community members, giving 
Masayesva a chance to develop his project. 
Once funded by the Ethnic Heritage Pro- 



gram, it now operates on a shoestring. 
Masayesva is convinced that independence 
from government controls — either Federal or 
tribal — has allowed his work to develop. One 
unique future project, for example, requires 
much community trust for completion: Mas- 
ayesva would like to document the impact of 
tourism on the Hopi, and many of the nor- 
mally reticent elders have agreed to discuss 
how exposure to tourism affects the way the 
traditional rituals are now performed. 

Probably the best-known tribal video pro- 
duction group is the Ute Tribe Media Depart- 
ment. Under the direction of Larry Cess- 
pooch, the Ute Tribe developed an audio- 
visual program to record important tribal 
meetings, workshops and traditional oral 
histories. The videotape library is extensive, 
but because of other developments, Ute Med- 
ia is temporarily not producing new tapes. 
However, Cesspooch and his staff intend 
eventually to develop a regional television 
broadcast facility. 



Resources 

American Indian Film Festival 

255 Valencia St. 

San Francisco CA 94103. 

(415)552-1070 

Michael Smith, Director 

Inuit Broadcasting Corporation 

294 Albert St., Suite 300 

Ottawa, Ontario KIP 6E6, Canada. 

(613)235-1892 

Kendall Lougheed, Director 

Museum of the American Indian 

Film and Video Department 
Broadway at 155th St 
New York, NY 10032 
(212) 283-2420 

Native American Public 
Broadcasting Consortium 

PO Box 831 11 

Lincoln NE 68501 

(402)472-3522 

Frank Blythe, Executive Director 

For additional info, see 

Native Americans on Film A Video 

(Museum of the American Indian: 1981) 



NOR THERM PROJECTS 

Meanwhile, in Canada, a six-month experi- 
ment launched production centers in five Arc- 
tic communities, utilizing one CBC satellite 
and a dedicated staff of Inuit and non-Inuit. 
Indigenous productions are broadcast five 
hours a week to over 32 Inuit communities. 
Broadcasts in the Inupiat language focus on 
community news, events and Inuit skills. 
Critics of the project note, however, that 
CBC has "opened up" the Canadian Arctic to 
16 hours daily of programming from lower 
Canada and the United States (see FUSE 

APRIL • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



magazine, May 1980, "The Inukshuk Pro- 
ject"). 

While waiting for approval for broad- 
casting more hours of Inuit programming, the 
IBC has also carried out a joint production 
with independent filmmaker Don Snowden. 
Thirty-two videotapes about Canada's 
caribou herd and Arctic hunting are being 
sold for broadcast to the rest of Canada. Thus 
IBC is giving the non-Native audience access 
to a more than superficial knowledge of the 
cultures of Native peoples. 

In Alaska, two new satellite-distribution 
television services serve Native American au- 
diences, but plans for productions by, for and 
about Native Americans are not a priority. 
One service has been designed to broadcast to 
wherever 25 or more people live, which in- 
cludes numerous Native communities. All 
programming, however, originates in the 
lower 48 states. Two public TV stations have 
more actively addressed themselves to 
Alaska's Native people, although the Native 
production staff is limited. KYUK-TV, in 
Bethel, broadcasts national and local produc- 
tions. Their daily news program is shown 
once in English and once in the two Eskimo 
languages, Yupik and Inupiak. KUAC-TV, in 
Fairbanks, has produced several series, in- 
cluding a curriculum video project in the 
Athabaskan language and a public television 
series on the Koyukon Athabaskan Indians' 
traditional life. 

LOW POWER 

The most recent project in the United 
States concerned with Native American 
broadcasting is the development of low-pow- 
er television at Lame Deer, Montana. The 
Department of Commerce has provided a 
grant of $198,000 to equip and install a facili- 
ty by January 1984. Undertaken by Dull 
Knife Memorial College and the Northern 
Cheyenne Tribe, the project is directed by 
Beverly Bad Horse. Technical problems face 
the project, which is located on the Northern 
Cheyenne reservation and covers about half a 
million rugged acres in southeastern Mon- 
tana. Interestingly, the Northern Cheyenne 
Tribe is at the center of energy resource 
development on the northern Plains, and the 
low-power system is intended to reach not on- 
ly the entire reservation but boom towns on its 
periphery. Serving two very distinct audiences 
will be a challenge for what is undoubtedly the 
first Native American community to control 
broadcasting to all communities in its area. 

CURRICUL UM PROJECTS 

In the mid-1970s, several important 
regional curriculum projects were undertaken 
by public television, relying on a pre- 
dominantly Native American consultation 
and production staff. The Real People fo- 
cused on seven tribes of the Northwest 
Plateau: Spokane, Colville, Kalispell, 
Kootenai, Nez Perce, Coeur d'Alene and 
Flathead. Most of the production staff and 

APRIL •1983 



crew were Native Americans. People of the 
First Light focused on Indians of southern 
New England. Both series emphasize con- 
temporary life. The Mashpee Wampanoags, 
for example, shows a scuba diver tending the 
Mashpee tribe's underwater aquafarm. The 
series have had two aims: to support young 
Indians by showing them positive aspects of 
their culture, and to demonstrate the ex- 
istence and customs of local Native 
Americans to a generally uninformed public. 

The picture of developments in native 
American visual media is mixed. New pro- 
jects and programs are discussed by everyone 
I interviewed for this report. At the same 
time, funding problems and the recent loss of 
major Federal funding sources promise great 
difficulty for the continued survival of Native 
American independent productions and 
educational projects. Community broadcast 
facilities are just beginning to be developed. 
Independents who have been working con- 
tinue, but entry to the field is still arduous. 
But it's always obvious that too few Native 
Americans are consistently able to produce, 
thus the growth of a film language particular 
to Native American experience is slow — but 
the growth is there, and I get the feeling that 
Native American filmmakers are preparing 
themselves for the many projects which lie 
ahead. ■ 

Elizabeth Weatherford is adjunct curator 
of film and video at the Museum of the 
American Indian in New York. 



NATIVE 

AMERICANS 

ON FILM 

AND VIDEO 

• Nearly 400 films and tapes described 

• Focus on documentaries produced since 1970, 
including Native American productions. 

• Native American media centers, producers, re- 
sources and festivals 



'An important book. . .mandatory for all media 
librarians and programmers."— Sightlines 

'A great deal of care has been taken with en- 
tries. . .a vital resource for years to come." 
American Anthropologist 

Available at $5.95 post-paid from: 

Film/Video Services, 
Museum of the American Indian, 
Broadway at 155th St., 
NY, NY 10032 



^ 



ih 



For the Personal Touch . . . 

Full Service Film Lab 
Personalized Timing 
Fast Turnaround 




YOURSELF TO 




61 9 WEST 54th STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10019 
(212)977-8980 



^ 



& 



19 




THCPRODUCCKS 
MAST€RGUID€ M 
4963 

The International Production 
Manual for Motion Pictures, 
Television, Commercial, Cable 
& Videotape Industries in the 
United States and Canada (formerly 
New York Production Manual) 

In the new edition: 
Wider geographic and industry coverage! 
Unions' and Guilds' most recent contracts, wage 
scales and working conditions! 
25,000 current names/numbers/addresses of 
industry professionals and services divided into 150 
product/service categories including prop suppliers 
cameramen, talent agencies, producers, etc. 
In your office or on location, The Producer's Master- 
Guide 1983 is the best single tool for buying or 
renting equipment, hiring a crew, dealing with 
unions, planning a shooting schedule, and comput- 
ing payrolls. Everything you need to know to get 
your project on its feet is here: 

Production logistics— the legal who, what, 
when, where, and how of filming in New York 
City, Florida, Canada, and the entire 
eastern U.S. 

Expanded Canadian industry 
coverage and data. 
• Special sections devoted to 
commercials, videotape and 
music productions: AICP, AICE, 
VPA and SAMPAC. 
• All rules and regulations for the 
Oscar, Golden Palm, Emmy, and 
Clio Awards. 
New coverage of Florida film production 
centers, Canadian unions, and the cable and 
satellite broadcasting industries. 

Endorsed by top city, state and government 
officials, the unions, the trade press, and leaders of 
the motion picture industry in the U.S. and Canada. 

Pick up a copy of The Producer's MasterGuide 1983 
in your local bookstore or call our TOLL-FREE 
number to place your order! 

Published by New York Production Manual, Inc. and distributed 
worldwide by R.R. Bowker Company. ISBN: 0-935744-02-9. 
ISSN: 0732-6653. LC79-644582. October 1982. over 600 pp. 
$58.00 paper. 

Prices are applicable in the U.S. and Canada; 10% higher in 
other Western Hemisphere countries. All invoices are payable 
n U.S. dollars. Applicable sales tax must be included. Shipping 
and handling will be added. 

R.R. BOWKER COMPANY 

Order Dept., P.O. Box 1807, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106 



For fast order and delivery call our toll-free number 
1-800-521-8110 and use your credit card. In New York 
call 212-764-5146. 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Self-Expression and 
States of Repression 

• 

A recent conference sponsored by the Museum 

of the American Indian tackled issues of how to 

use media for education and cultural survival. 



TONY WHITFIELD & MARY JANE SULLIVAN 



Within the mass media, conflicts between 
the dominance of white, marketed society and 
the traditionally oppressed cultures in 
America mark pivotal points in the continua- 
tion of states of represssion. Exploitation and 
manipulation of minorities through the con- 
stricted images of television and film continue 
to form the dominant culture's referential 
understanding of "other Americans." The 
consequent corruption and simplification of 
America's myriad realities into a unified 
system of images has motivated blacks, 
Hispanics, Asians, women, gays and Native 
Americans to acquire the technological skills 
of video and filmmaking in order to explore 
and defend their individual and collective cir- 
cumstances. The two-day symposium, Media 
Makers, organized by the Museum of the 
American Indian at the American Indian 
Community House gallery in New York City 
(November 13-14) presented the opinions, in- 
sights and attitudes of Native American video 
and filmmakers on mass media and its use as 
a tool for tipping the scales in favor of 
education and cultural survival rather than 
obliteration. 

The Western religious, scientific, economic 
and philosophic concepts that underpin white 
cultural superiority have attempted to force 
Natives to deny their history; that is to say, 
"acculturate," accept isolation tantamount 
to burial on reservations or face relocation 
due to the seizure of their lands by govern- 
mental or corporate bodies. For the Indians, 



"For primal peoples . . . the relationship be- 
tween experience and expression has remain- 
ed so direct and spontaneous that they usually 
do not possess a word for art. They do, 
however, possess a concept for living which, 
in Western interpretation, might seem like 
art." — J a make High water. The Primal Mind 

however, the sovereignty of the land remains 
unquestionable. It shapes their identity and 
their history, and is the material key to 
spiritual survival. The fate of the land became 
a crucial thread of the conference, weaving 
together the goals and practices of Indian 
media producers from widely varied tribal, 
political and professional backgrounds. 
Spirituality and harmony with nature in crisis 
bind the works shown and act as the political 
bedrock which motivates much of Native 
American production. Fast pace and quick 
edits seemed to be unacceptable esthetic solu- 
tions, along with the personality showcase 
format. 

SPIRITUAL & SECULAR TAPES 

Tapes responsive to tribal variation^ in 
custom and historical circumstance were 
shown on both days of the symposium, as well 
as at screenings the following weekend at 
the Museum of Natural History. Most of the 
tapes aimed either to educate viewers in 
aspects of traditional Indian life or to shed 



light on contemporary conditions that are left 
unexamined in the daily media blackout on 
minority issues. In the first category, stylistic 
differences ranged from the almost real-time 
recording of an intricate Cree craft in Beaver- 
tail Snowshoes (1981, Todd Crocker and 
Henri Vaillancourt) to Wolf Tirado and 
Jackie Reiter's The Guambianos (1977), a 
gorgeous film transfer of oddly iconic im- 
agery capturing the ceremonies and chores of 
a Colombian native community on its tradi- 
tional lands. In contrast, Hector Galan punc- 
tuates End of the Road (1981) with the com- 
munity discussing the Pueblo sacred tradition 
of running and spirituality as a quotidian 
native reality. 

Many tapes delved into contemporary In- 
dian political circumstances: Sandra Osawa's 
The Black Hills Are Not for Sale (1981), My 
Father Calls Me Son: Racism and Native 
Americans (197 5) by David Fanning and They 
Never Asked Our Father produced by 
Alaska's KYUK-TV in 1975. These works 
bring Native American Media artists into di- 
rect conflicts with the dominant superstruc- 
ture. 

Black Hills deals with corporate and 
government activities to gain control of the 
energy resources of one of the holiest places 
on earth for the Indian. Osawa was told by an 
LA producer that her tape was "too volatile; 
you're not history yet." While the ab- 
breviated version of her original project bends 
over backwards to avoid polemics and 



i Camp of protesters in Sandra Osawa's The Black Hills Are Not for Sale. 




APRIL •1983 



21 



THE INDEPENDENT 




23 



Years of Award- 
Winning Films 



• Complete Animation Services 

• Special Effects 

• Title Design 

• Computerized Oxberry 
With Image Expander 

• Slides to Film 



Film Planning Associates 

38 East 20 Street 
New York, NY 10003 
212-260-7140 



iM S§8? VIDEO 



3/4" Post Production 



Uo 



HOUR 
WTTH EDITOR 



JVC TAPE HANDLERS •HIGH- 
RESOLUTION CHARACTER GENERATOR 
(BORDERS, DROP SHADOW, ROLL, 
CRAWL, 16-pp MEMORY) »PROC AMP 

(FADES, COLOR CORRECTION)* 
GRAPHIC CAMERAS (KEYER) • LARGE 
EDITING SUITE* VILLAGE LOCATION 

Production 

IKEGAMI 730 

SONY PORTABLE 

t LIGHTS, MICS, ETC. 

•45 /HR. STUDIO (100 SQ. FT.) 

LOW-COST LOCATION PACKAGE 




UARK 
VIDEO 



212 •533 •2056 



rhetoric, it zeroes in on exploitation as a prin- 
cipal by-product of the capitalist mentality; 
all other perceptions of reality are fated for 
extinction or "history." My Father Calls Me 
Son deals with racism and pressure on Indians 
to conform to white norms. They Never 
Asked Our Fathers, on the other hand, 
outlines the impact of 50 years of US govern- 
ment policies on the Yup'ik Eskimos on 
Alaska's Nunivak Island. 

MEDIA: POLITICS & PROSPECTS 

As for the discussion's, the first day of 
Media Makers was organized around the sub- 
ject of media as a community organizing tool. 
Addressing the issue was a panel made up of 
Peggy Barnett (International Indian Treaty 
Council), Tony Arkeketa (Tulsa Native 
American Coalition), Lillian Jimenez (The 
Film Fund), Rudy Martin (American Indian 
Community House), George Stonefish 
(WBAI-Pacifica Radio), John Wicklein (Cor- 
poration for Public Broadcasting) and Tom 
Beaver (WCCO-TV, Minneapolis). "We look 
at the Western hemisphere as our commun- 
ity," said Barnett, representing the activist and 
internationalist voice of the ITTC. While 
Barnett 's hemispheric vision may seem prag- 
matically untenable, it does indicate the scope 
of the "invisible" Indian comunity and the 
garguantuan task facing Indian media pro- 
ducers. The panel quickly focused on the fun- 
damental necessity not only of educating the 
general public to the realities of Indian life, 
but also of alerting the Native community to 
specifics of their shared oppression. Stonefish 
underlined the mainstream media's demand 
(specifically radio's) for a soft-pedaling of In- 
dian concerns due to a general ignorance of 
Indian circumstances. 

Naturally, television and film as major of- 
fenders also came under fire. In response to 
charges of racism, Wicklein noted that 30% 
of CPB's budget was earmarked for minority 
programming and expressed his desire to do a 
series on Pre-Columbian civilization — a 
liberal twist to the claim that the "only good 
Indian is a dead Indian." The fact remained, 
however, that of the more than 240 Indian 
subjects submitted to CPB last year, four 
were chosen for which funds were never 
allocated from an earmarked million-dollar 
budget. One project on the Northern Chey- 
enne reach the script stage only to be rejected. 

Wicklein responded that Indians should 
simply continue to send proposals. In spite of 
the absence of Natives on review panels and 
the grave limitations of public knowledge, the 
responsibility for miraculously entering the 
mainstream is thrown back to Native pro- 
ducers, only a handful of whom are employed 
regularly by commercial media. Nevertheless, 
strategies for countering commercial formats 
were mulled over in discussions of "fine- 
tuning" — i.e., Geraldo Rivera-type jour- 
nalism personalizing the political into 
humanized fare fit for middle American con- 
sumption. It was clear to all concerned, 
however, that "other" voices, when con- 



22 



fronted with the corporate, would give way 
on the airwaves. 

COMMUNITY A PPROA CH 

Agreeing that radical changes vis-a-vis In- 
dian presence in television and film are 
necessary, Jimenez stressed film and video as 
community tools, not mere stumbling blocks 
to a solution. "Media should be about people 
empowering themselves, gaining strength out 
of their situations," she stated. Organizations 
such as Full Circle, a California production 
collective which presented its hour-long docu- 
drama on forced relocation, Wrong Side of 
the Fence, have warehoused over 500 hours of 
broadcast-quality tape as reflective source 
material. The American Indian Information 
Center at IITC has also established a research 
/resource library for video, and accepts 
original work. Working in conjunction with 
ITTC and the American Indian Movement, 
Juan Aguilar and other producers have 
recognized video's potential as an organizing 
and educational tool for isolated Indian com- 
munities. They too are stockpiling miles of 
tape. 

Ottawa filmmakers Simon Brascoupe and 
Todd Crocker (Trust for Native American 
Cultures and Crafts), along with Massachu- 
setts independent Russell Peters, Seattle- 
based videomaker Sandra Osawa, Min- 
neapolis filmmaker Chris Spotted Eagle and 
New York filmmaker George Stoney made up 
the second day's panel on the role of the in- 
dependent. All, naturally, bemoaned the in- 
dependent's common problems of funding 
and distribution and the resulting threat of 
aesthetic compromise. Compounding these 
difficulties, racism in the media not only 
limits access but seriously narrows the 
possibilities of even assembling a native 
prduction crew. The Catch-22 is that pro- 
ducers concerned with employing Indians 
must constantly be involved in the training 
process thus slowing their production. Even 
with skills at their fingertips those trained are 
released in a land of little opportunity. The 
maintenance of ethical standards, whereby 
Indian subjects are at least paid for their ap- 
pearance in independent works, adds to the 
strain on limited and often speculative 
budgets. Nevertheless, each producer agreed 
that these standards have been made 
obligatory not so much by Indian demands 
for compensation as by a need for reversal of 
customary exploitive practices. 

Although the concept of video as a means 
of "preserving" Indian culture was 
acknowledged as a delusion, the medium was 
generally perceived as not only a recording 
device but also a means of extending tradi- 
tions. Osawa and others voiced an urge to 
move beyond cultural reclamation to the 
freedom to express a vital native vision. ■ 

Mary Jane Sullivan is a poet and video ar- 
tist who is on the editorial board of Win 
magazine. Tony Whitfield writes most often 
for Fuse and Alive, and is performance 
curator at the Just Above Mid town gallery in 
Manhattan. 

APRIL* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FESTIVALS 



Moscow: Behind 
The Celluloid Curtain 

WENDY UDELL & WILL ROBERTS 



The Moscow International Film Festival is 
without a doubt unique among international 
festivals. Running from July 7th until the 
21st, the 12th biennial gathering listed films 
from some 100 countries in the competition, 
and over 600 films within the larger general 
framework of the festival. 

Security is tight at the Hotel Rossia in 
Moscow. It is the largest hotel in the world, 
with accommodations for 6,000 people, a | 
first-class rating, restaurants, swimming | 
pools, and some of the best theatres im- 1 
aginable. Hundreds of interpreters filled the =j 
lobby awaiting festival guests. Each invitee is f 
provided not only with an interpreter, but 8 
also with hotel, food, entertainment — and if 
they wish, following the festival, a free trip to 
any one of eleven cities for a week's visit. Few 
festivals in the world are as well organized and 
none so generous. Numerous tours of 
Moscow sights were conducted for partic- 
pants, and red -carpet caviar parties were 
given by the embassies, delegates and studios 
represented. 

The main theatre at the Hotel Rossya has 
3,000 excellent seats for screening the feature 
film competition. Each seat has an armrest; 
when pulled up it reveals an earphone and 
nine channels which provide synchronous 
translations in all major and some minor 
languages. Translations are excellent, and the 
range of cultural material programmed in the 
festival's multiple halls is vast. 

The theme of the festival is "for humanism 
in cinema art, and peace and friendship 
among nations." The entry regulations are 
strictly observed and only one feature film 
from each country is allowed into the com- 
petition. There are extensive information and 
out-of-competition sections, however, pro- 
viding an opportunity for greater national 
participation, as well as competitions for 
shorts and children's films. Participating 
American independents have included Alan 
Francovitch, who reportedly sold On Com- 
pany Business to Soviet TV as well, and David 
Ehrlich, whose short, Precious Metal, was 
screened in 1981. 

The official American delegation is 
organized by the Motion Picture Association of 
America (MPAA), which has not traditional- 
ly entered great American films into the com- 
petition. The 1981 entry was Victory by John 
Huston. Remember that one? MPAA chief 
Jack Valenti, invited to lead the American 
delegation in 1979, sent a surrogate who told 
APRIL • 1983 



the Soviets they wouldn't allow Soviet films in 
the US unless the Soviet Union agreed to buy 
$2 million worth of American film product! 
Also attending in 1979 were King Vidor and 
Francis Ford Coppola with Apocalypse Now 
which attracted great attention not only due 
to its subject matter, but because his earlier 
The Godfather was one of the most popular 
films in Eastern Bloc countries. 




David Ehrlich s Precious Metal showed at the 1981 
Moscow Film Festival. 

In 1981, the head of the American delega- 
tion was Fay Kanin, President of the 
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 
(AMPAS). Serving on the jury was Jay 
Leyda, well-known author and film critic, 
and covering the event for the American press 
was Variety correspondent, Gene Moskowitz. 
The festival guests routinely dined together, 
and the American delegation was strategically 
placed in the midst of the third world delega- 
tion in the dining room by a diplomatically 
optimistic maitre d'. 

If you wish to enter the Moscow film 
Festival, it is advisable to contact the Soviet 
Embassy rather than attempting to reach 
Moscow directly by either phone or letter. 
Many filmmakers have had great difficulties 
for no apparent reason. 16mm films are ap- 
parently accepted in all sections except the 
feature competition. Applications are due in 
early April and prints by June 1. Contact: 
Anatoly Dyuzhev, Cultural Attache, or Alex- 
ander Druzhinin, Press Attache, Soviet Em- 
bassy, 1125 16 Street NW, Washington DC 
20036, phone Dyuzhev at (202) 347-1355 or 
Druzhinin at (202) 587-8769. 

Will Roberts is a filmmaker based in 
Athens, Ohio. He made the award-winning 
films Men 's Lives and Between Men; his cur- 
rent project is a film biography of Dean Reed, 
an American singing star popular in Russia. 



Sinking Creek Is 
Nashville's Biggest Hit 

The key to Sinking Creek is in its title: It is 
dubbed a "Film Celebration" rather than a 
festival, and co-directors Mary Jane Coleman 
and George Griffin work very hard to create 
an event that truly celebrates the state of in- 
dependent film art. As in the past, the 1983 
Celebration will include screenings of all 
award winners, one-person shows and retro- 
spective presentations by visiting filmmakers 
and scholars, and workshops in analysis and 
production. But the most striking aspect of 
Sinking Creek is the infectious spirit of enjoy- 
ment that surrounds all of these events. Make 
just one trip to the Celebration, and I can 
guarantee that you will find yourself being 
drawn to Nashville every June. 

All films submitted for competition are 
judged by an independent panel in mid-May. 
The films are divided by the filmmaker's level 
of experience, rather than by genre, into three 
categories: young filmmakers (elementary 
through high school), college students and in- 
dependents. Each judge is free to distribute 
his or her share of approximately $6,000 
among the films chosen for showing during 
the festival. All films shown are cash award 
winners; in past years this has meant a slate of 
50-60 films, or about 20% of the total number 
entered for consideration. In addition, the 
John Hubley Award of $100, donated by 
Faith Hubley in recognition of Sinking 
Creek's commitment to animation, will be 
given to the best animated film that deals with 
a social or political theme. Filmmakers have 
been pleased by the promptness with which 
their films and awards have been returned. 

The same kind of consideration is extended 
to those filmmakers who are able to attend the 
Celebration. The Vanderbilt University cam- 
pus presents an ideal location: the facilities of 
the Sarratt Student Center are well-equipped, 
and campus dormitories provide suitable 
housing at a very reasonable cost. The 
Celebration attracts a large number of film- 
makers, educators and distributors. There is 
always an especially large contingent of 
Southern independents, for whom Sinking 
Creek has become the site of an annual reu- 
nion. 

Sinking Creek offers a variety of activities 
designed to appeal to veteran and novice film- 
makers alike. In addition to screenings and 
workshops, there will be a dozen presenta- 
tions by visiting filmmakers. Directors Cole- 
man and Griffin manage to put together a 
program that reflects the diversity of contem- 
porary film production while providing 
necessary historical perspectives. Past guests 
have included Willard Van Dyke, D.A. Pen- 
nebaker, Doris Chase, Stan VanDerBeek , 
Claudia Weill, Mary Beams, Al Jarnow and 
Anita Thacher. 

The 1983 Celebration will take place June 
14-18 at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 
Tennessee. Entry is restricted to 16mm films 
of up to 60 minutes; fees range from $5-$20. 

23 



Gii/e us your 
lirty moKies 




/our tired, 
/our poor 

scratched 

brittle 

buckled 

torn 

huddled masses of 

oil stained 

deteriorated film, 

/our curled 

"rain/" 

shrunken 

faded film, 

the wretched 

refuse of /our 

film library... 



Be it 16mm 8mm super 8mm 
microfilm 35mm 70mm 




BLMblFE 



FILMLIFE BUILDING 

Moonachie, N. J. 07074 

Call Collect: 201-440-8500 




Deadline: May 10. For an official entry form 
and more info, write: Sinking Creek Film 
Celebration, Creekside Farm, Route 8, 
Greeneville TN 37743; (615) 638-6424. 

— Marc Lenzini 
Marc Lenzini is a teacher and freelance 
writer in Boston. He has attended the Sinking 
Creek Celebration as film student, reviewer, 
distributor and guest lecturer, and has just 
been invited to judge in 1983. 

Prestige Showcase 
At Locarno 

"We hope that Locarno is and will remain 
that privileged place where one has the 
pleasure to come to appreciate a film, and to 
engage in true and fruitful dialogue with its 
author." These words appeared in Locarno's 
catalogue two years ago, and are echoed in 
director David Streiff's enthusiastic search 
for films, which takes him all over Europe, to 
China and to New York. Explains Streiff "We 
want to help independent cinema all over the 
world. We are looking for new forms and 
especially new authors. We want films that 
are not too conventional but not too ex- 
perimental. We look for good production 
values but we are not flirting with the big 
movie industry." 

American entries in the 1982 competition 
were Hammet by Wim Wenders, Forty-Deuce 
by Paul Morrissey and Melvin and Howard by 
Jonathan Demme. No awards, however, were 
given last year by a reportedly dissatisfied 
jury. But even if you don't win a Golden 
Leopard, participation in this, the oldest 
festival in Euorpe, will expose your film to the 
approximately 200 critics in atten- 
dance — most but not all of them from 
Switzerland and other parts of Europe. 
Coverage is facilitated by numerous press 
conferences, and networking is reportedly en- 
couraged by parties and banquets. A sidebar 
market also takes place ($100 participation 
fee and open to all), and Swiss film 
distributors attend the festival, but big 
business is not made in Locarno. The event is 
primarily a high-prestige showcase which also 
qualifies your film for entry in the Academy 
Awards competition. Filmmakers are invited 
to attend and offered hospitality. 

Festival programs include the Competition, 
information sections and retrospectives. Only 
feature films not previously shown in 
Switzerland are invited; all participating films 



24 



must be subtitled in French. For complete en- 
try info, see the ad on page 5. — W.L. 

A Dutch Treat at 
World Wide Video 

The first video festival held in The Hague 
last year was by all accounts a big success. 
Hundreds of tapes in all genres were screened 
for an enthusiastic audience in a large multi- 
tiered screening space called the Kijkhuis. The 
name World-Wide was unfortunately 
something of a misnomer, since the tapes 
came predominantly from Holland and the 
US, with some selections appearing from 
Japan, France and Germany. The festival 
director attributes this to lack of money for 
translation, and offers no immediate solution 
for the coming year. Since most Nederlanders 
speak English, this did not deter American 
representation, including tapes by Wendy 
Clarke, Julie Harrison, Peter D'Agostino, 
Steina Vasulka, Nam June Paik, Stan 
VanDerBeek, Skip Blumberg, Antonio Mun- 
tadas, Juan Downey and many others. 

A handsome catalogue in both Dutch and 
English is produced, and a $50 screening fee is 
paid to all artists included in the five-day 
show. The Kijkhuis is also a tape distributor 
(although the market is admittedly very small) 
and they exhibit tapes all year round, so one is 
in effect entering more than a festival. Last 
year four video artists participating in the 
festival were invited back to The Hague to 
produce a tape at a closely associated produc- 
tion house down the block called Meatball. 
The artists selected were Lydia Schouten from 
the Netherlands, Marie- Jo Lafontaine from 
Beligum, Va Wolfl from Germany and 
Dalibor Martinis from Yugoslavia. 

New York-based videomaker Julie Har- 
rison, one of the few artists to attend the event 
last year, reports that a good time was had by 
all. The city's mayor opened the event and 
press coverage was voluminous, if local. 
Some festival selections were also screened in 
Amsterdam during the week, making for ad- 
ditional publicity. 

The 1983 Festival dates will be Sept. 6-11. 
The Festival selection team will be traveling 
extensively this year in search of the best 
available material. Deadline: Apr. 10; no en- 
try fee required. Tapes in V* " U-matic may be 
sent to World Wide Video c/o FIVF, 625 
Broadway, New York NY 10012; entries may 
also be sent directly to the Kijkhuis at Noord- 

APRIL 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



einde 140, 2514 GP, Den Haag, The 
Netherlands; Tel: 070-651880. — W.L. 

PhilaFilm's Good 
Intentions Aren't Enough 

If intentions were reality, the Philadelphia 
International Film Festival would be a dream 
come true for minority independents. Found- 
ed in 1975 as a forum for the exhibition and 
promotion of Third World cinema, the 
Festival offers a competition with cash prizes, 
seminars, information screenings and a film 
market. Unfortunately, producers have re- 
ported badly attended screenings, trouble get- 
ting their prints back and a 10% commission 
due on any sales made at the market. 

While it is generally the opinion of those 
familiar with the festival that it has left un- 
fulfilled the very ambitious program its 
literature proposes, they also acknowledge 
that its problems are due to insufficient fund- 
ing rather than bad faith. Says Marge Myers 
of the Pennsylvania State Council of the Arts, 
"They are genuine in their effort to reach 



Group Shipments 

If three or more film/videomakers plan 

to enter the same foreign festival, 

FIVF can arrange a group shipment, 

thereby saving you money! What you 

must do is drop us a note telling us 

what 'festival you are planning to enter, 

and if we get enough interest in one, 

we will call you. 



minority audiences and independents, but 
they have had difficulty in generating the 
resources necessary to accomplish their 
goals." 

Executive director Lawrence Smallwood 
has been unavailable for comment, but 
festival chair Larry Chapman, who joined the 
organization during last year's event, conced- 
ed that it "was not as well publicized as it 
could have been." He said they recognized 
this shortcoming, and "as for getting people, 
we're going to try a lot harder this year." He 
also said they had received 25% more funding 
for this year, with which they plan to hire a 
full-time festival manager. They also plan to 
hold the festival in one centralized site, in- 
stead of three separate theaters as in the past. 

With these additional resources, the 
Philadelphia Int'l Film Festival could grow 
into a major venue for independent and 
minority film and videomakers. Smallwood 
seems to be a visionary with big ideas for the 
future of socially and politically conscious 
media. The road chosen, however, is a dif- 
ficult one, and he will need the support of 
like-minded people in the community. 

The festival takes place in July. Entries in 
all genres and formats (including video) are 
invited. Entry fees, ranging from $25-100, ap- 
pear somewhat high, but it should be noted 
that in the attempt to reach minority au- 
diences in the Philadelphia community, no 
admission fees are charged. Entry deadline: 

APRIL • 1983 



June 1. Contact: Lawrence Smallwood or 
Larry Chapman, IAMPTP, 1315 Walnut St., 
Ste. 320, Philadelphia PA 19107; (212) 
732-9222. — W.L. 



IN BRIEF 



This month's additional Festivals have been 
compiled by Amanda M. Ross and Wendy Lidell 
with the help of Gadney's Guides and the FIVF 
files. Listings do not constitute an endorsement, 
and since some details change faster than we do, we 
recommend that you contact the festival for further 
information before sending prints or tapes. If your 
experience with a festival differs from our account, 
please let us know so we can improve our reliability. 



Domestic 

• AMERICAN MEDICAL WRITERS 
ASSOCIATION (AMWA) FILM FESTIVAL Oc- 
tober, established 1974. Attempts to improve 
medical communication through review of 
outstanding medical films. Entries must be in 
16mm, made within previous 5 years. Categories 
include: professional, lay, documentary, TV 
news/editorial or dramatic. Plaques awarded. En- 
try fee: $5. Deadline: May 15. Contact: AMWA 
Film Festival, 5272 River Rd. Suite. 370, Bethesda, 
MD 20016; (301)986-9119. 

• BLACKLIGHT, July, a festival of black interna- 
tional cinema, held for first time last year in 
Chicago. Several independent British films 
premiered; American works included Ashes and 
Embers by Haile Gerima, A Different Image, by 
Sharon Larkin & Grove Music by Henry Martin. 
Festival Director Terry White estimates between 75 
& 100 people attended screening over 9 evenings. A 
features competition will be added this year, awar- 
ding $1,000 for best feature. Shorts & features in 
16mm invited for entry by May 31. Contact: Terry 
White-Finister, Blacklight, 7321 South Shore Dr., 
Chicago IL 60649; (312) 768-5157. 

• MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 
12-15. Sixth annual anthropological fest will be held at 
American Museum of Natural History in New 
York. [For more info see "Exploring New 
Terrain..." The Independent, Jan/Feb '83.] 
Deadline: May 1. Contact: AMNH, Education 
Department, Florence Stone, Festival Co-Chair, 
Central Park West at 79th St. New York NY 10024; 
(212) 873-1300. 

• NEW ENGLAND ARTIST FESTIVAL AND 
SHOWCASE, June 4-5, New England's largest 
multi-arts gathering. Over 400 visual artists & film- 
makers will participate in the event, with an 
estimated audience of 15,000. Independent & stu- 
dent filmmakers from New England may enter 
16mm or Super-8 films. Deadline: Apr. 22. Con- 
tact: AES-Festival, Division of Continuing Educa- 
tion, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 
01003; (413) 545-2360. 

• PSA—MPD AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 
FILM FESTIVAL, August. Established in 1928 to 
recognize young filmmakers. Entries may be in 16, 
Super-8 or 8 mm, made by amateurs., students or 
professionals. Maximum length: 30 min. 
Categories include scenario, documentary, ex- 
perimental, travel, humorous and nature. Cash 
awards of $1000 are given. Entry fee: $5-7. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: Photographic Society 




THE KNOWLEDGEABLE 

ENTERTAINMENT 

INSURANCE BROKER 

AFFORDABLE INSURANCE FOR 

M0VIES«TV»INDEPENDENTS 

COMMERCIALS* VIDE0»THEATRE 

MULTI- MEDIA»SPECIAL EVENTS 

EQUIPMENT»STUDIOS«LABS«GENERAL LIABILITIES 

NYC PERMITS«SH0RT TERM 

RENTALS»UNIQUE PR0GRAMS«ERR0RS & 

OMISSIONS LIABILITIES* NEGATIVE 

FILM//VIDE0TAPE»SH0RT & LONG TERM 

COVERAGES 



CONSULTING 

COMPETITIVE ©FAST SERVICE 



the LIBRARY of 

SPECIkL EFXo 



60 min. Video $ 300. = 
Unlimited Use/Broadcast rights 



DARINO FILMS (212) 228-4024 



TITLES ■ CREDITS 
OPTICALS • EFFECTS 



COMPUTERIZED 
ANIMATION STAND 



STREAKS STROBES 
SLIDES TO FILM 



DARINO FILMS 

222 PARK AVE. SOUTH 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 

(212) 228-4024 



25 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PRINCIPLES & RESOLUTIONS 
OF THE ASSOCIATION 



AIVF FOUNDING PRINCIPLES 

1. The Association is a service organi- 
zation of and for independent video and 
filmmakers. 

2. The Association encourages excel- 
lence, commitment and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and 
filmmaking is more than just a job — it 
goes beynd economics to involve the ex- 
pression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through com- 
bined effort of membership, to provide 
practical, informational and moral sup- 
port for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to ensuring the 
survival and providing support for the 
continuing growth of independent video 
and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its sup- 
port to one genre, ideology or aesthetic, 
but furthers diversity of vision in artistic 
and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions indepen- 
dent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is deter- 
mined, by mutual action, to open path- 
ways toward exhibition of this work to 
the community at large. 



AIVF RESOL UTIONS 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in 
fostering cooperation, community & 
justice in human relationships without 
respect to age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the 
freedom of expression of the indepen- 
dent film and videomaker, as spelled out 
in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and 
heightened awareness among the mem- 
bership of the social, artistic and per- 
sonal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, 
via such mechanisms as screenings and 
forums. 

5. To continue to work to strengthen 
AIVF's services to independents, in 
order to help reduce the membership's 
dependence on the kind of sponsorship 
which encourage the compromise of per- 
sonal values. 



of America (Motion Picture Division), James 
Meeker, Chair, 1329 Hilltop Dr., Milan IL 61264; 
(309)787-1291. 

mSAN FRANCISCO GA Y VIDEO FESTIVAL, 
sponsored by Frameline, request entries in Vt " and 
Vi " VHS (no Beta). Gay theme & subject matter not 
important, as each production is judged on own 
merits. Shorts encouraged. Exposure on Bay Area 
public access cable system very likely; entrants 
should indicate whether they are interested in cable- 
play. Deadline: Apr. 20. Contact: John Canaly, 
182-B Castro St., San Francisco CA 94114; (415) 
861-0843. 

• SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LES- 
BIAN & GA Y FILM FESTIVAL, June, established 




In Nazi Germany, homosexuals were rounded up and 
forced to wear pink triangles. Shown at the 1982 SF 
International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Pink 
Triangles was made by a collective. 

in 1976 to showcase films by & about gays. 
Frameline, the sponsor, estimates festival atten- 
dance at about 1,000. Entries may be Super-8, 16or 
35mm; feature or independent short. Cash awards 
given. No entry fee; entrant pays return postage. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: Framline, Michael 
Lumpkin, Director, 150 Eureka St., San Francisco 
CA 94114; (415) 864-5164. 

• WORKS BY WOMEN, mid-October, sponsored 
by Barnard College to show what women are doing 
on film & tape. Entries may be in any genre in 
16mm or Vt " videotape. No awards given, but festi- 
val does pay rental fees to selected films/tapes. No 
entry fee. Deadline: May 1. Contact: Gareth 
Hughes, Wollman Library, Barnard College, Col- 
umbia University, 606 West 120 St., New York NY 
10027; (212) 280-2418. 

Foreign 

• AGE D 'OR PRIZE, July. Established 1973 to 
honor fiction films demonstrative creativity & spirit 
comparable to Bunuel's L 'Age d'Or. Sponsored by 
Royal Film Archive of Belgium & supported by 
Belgium Film Museum. Entries may be in 35 or 
16mm; minimum length 60 min. Films must have 
been completed within past 2 years & unreleased in 
Belgium. Cash awards given. No entry fee; entrant 
pays postage. Deadline: May. Contact: Royal Film 
Archive of Beligum, Jacques Ledoux, Curator, 
Palais des Beaux-Arts, 23 Ravenstein, 1000 
Brussels, Belgium; Tel: 513 41 55. 

• BULGARIAN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 
OF COMEDY & SATIRICAL FILMS, May; 



26 



established 1981. Attempts to stimulate interest in 
films dealing with humor & satire. Gauges, awards, 
entry fees not specified. Deadline: May. Contact: 
House of Humor & Satire, Stefan Furtounov, 
Director, PO Box 104, 5300 Gabrovo, Bulgaria; 
Tel: (066) 2 72 29; 2 93 00. 

• COTE D'AZUR INTERNATIONAL AM- 
ATEUR FILM FESTIVAL, June, 5 days. Entries, 
by amateurs only, must be in 16mm; maximum 
length of 20 min. Various prizes awarded. Contact 
festival for entry fees. Deadline: April-May. Con- 
tact: Jean Ducoeur, President, 14 Rue d'Alsace- 
Lorraine, 06000 Nice, France; Tel: (93) 88 61 64. 

• INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ECO- 
NOMICS & TRAINING FILMS, November. 
Sponsored by Free University of Brussels, Cercle 
Solvay & Union of Commercial Engineers. 
Super-8, 1 6mm & videotape accepted. No entry fee; 
entrant pays all postage. Deadline: May. Contact: 
Didier Cloos, President Cercle Solvay, Avenue 
Franklin Roosevelt 48, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium; 
Tel 02-6490030, ext. 2528. 

• LA ROCHELLE FILM FESTIVAL, June- July. 
Established 1973 to promote noncommerical films 
which depict contemporary views of film art. En- 
tries may be in 35 or 16mm. Not previously shown 
in France. No entry fee; entrant pays postage. 
Deadline: May. Contact: Jean-Loup Passek, Film 
Section Director, 4 rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris, 
France; Tel; (1) 260-72-21, 296-23-44. 

• MEDIKINALE MARBURG INTERNA- 
TIONAL COMPETITION FOR MEDICAL 
FILMS, July, sponsored by German Green Cross. 
Recent documentaries in 16, Super-8 or 8mm on 
medicine, medical research, teaching & public 
health must have been released within previous 3 
years. Awards given. Contact festival for entry 
fees. Deadline: May. Contact: German Green 
Cross, Dr. H. Schreiner, Director, Schuhmarkt 4, 
D-3550 Marburg-Lahn, West Germany (FRG); Tel; 
6421-24044. 

• ODENSE FILM FESTIVAL, July 31 -Aug. 6. 
Held in the hometown of Hans Christian Ander- 
son, festival invites films that uphold his spirit: 
"films of all kinds provided they emanate from & 
radiate an original & imaginative sense of creative 
delight." Categories include avant-garde, abstract, 
experimental, surrealistic & underground. Entries 
must be under 60 min. & completed since Apr. 30, 
1981. Permission to show film on Danish TV (for 
payment) must accompany entry. Two cash prizes 
of $5,000 & $2,500 awarded; selected directors in- 
vited to attend at festival's expense. Deadline: May 
1. Contact: Odense Film Fest, Vindegade 18, 
DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark; Tel: 9-13-13-72 ext. 
4299. 

• TOULON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
MARITIME & SEA EXPLORATION, May. En- 
tries must deal with industrial, naval, travel, 
research, biology, archaeology, geology, marine 
ethnography, sea sports etc. Films may be 35 or 
16mm; feature or documentary. Modest cash prizes 
awarded. Deadline: May. Contact: Secretariat of 
the Festival, 14 The Peiresc, 83000 Toulon, France. 

• WELLINGTON FILM FESTIVAL, June. Open 
to all entries in 16 & 35mm. Especially interested in 
shorts & features unlikely to be seen in New 
Zealand (they scout other festivals looking for in- 
teresting new work). Estimated attendance: 25,000. 
Cooperative with filmmakers & grateful for good 

APRIL* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



material. The enterprising filmmaker advises infor- 
ming New Zealand TV that your film will be at the 
festival, & giving them permission to videotape 
your print while it's there. This would save a great 
deal of time & trouble; broadcast licensing may be 
negotiated later. Local TV contacts: Barry Parkin, 
Head of Program Purchasing , or Jane Wrightson 
& Ray Ferris, Program Purchasing Agents, Televi- 
sion New Zealand, Avalon TV Centre, PO Box 
30945, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. No entry fees; 
entrant pays all postage. Deadline: May 31. Con- 
tact: Bill Godsden, Director, Wellington Film 
Festival, PO Box 9544, Courtenay Place, Well- 
ington, New Zealand. 

• CORRECTION: We apologize to the Ann Arbor 
Film Festival, whose entry fee was erroneously 
listed in the Jan/Feb issue as $125 instead of the 
more reasonable and real figure of $15. We hope 
this did not seriously affect the response from our 
readers. 



Spotted Eagle continued from p. 16 
massacre of Indian people. I think the way the 
whole situation occurred and why they were 
massacred would make a dramatic film. 

SOF: These projects sound like they are all 
political. 

CSE: Yes. The kind of films I do would have 
social/political ramifications even if done as 
satire or tongue-in-cheek or documentary or 
whatever. I feel strongly that a film should 
have some redeeming matters in it. However 
they are made, films should improve attitudes 
and the quality of living and relationships be- 
tween people. That's what the world is about; 
if there aren't any people, what are we here 
for anyway? I 

Ex-AIVF staffer Suyapa Odessa Flores is 
now working in media in Minneapolis, 



AIVF NOTICES 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. 
AIVF members receive first priority; 
others included as space permits. 
Send notices to THE INDEPEN- 
DENT do FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th 



Floor, New York NY 10012. For fur- 
ther info, call (21 2) 473-3400. Dead- 
line: 8th of second preceding month 
(e.g. April 8 for June). Edited by 
Mary Guzzy. 



Buy • Ren f Sell 



• FOR RENT: Panasonic 3990 low -light camera, 
Sony VO-4800, 4 BP-60 batteries, 5 " monitor w/ 
battery, fluid-head tripod, Sennheiser mic, lav, 
Smith Victor lights, cords & accessories, very por- 
table. $225/day w/ operator. Contact: 
Alan/Caryn, (212) 222-3321, NY. 

mFOR SALE: 16mm film stock, 8 rolls 7241 color 
reversal $25/400 ' roll; 16 rolls 7242 color reversal, 
$30/400 ' roll. Contact: Mary, (212) 239-0422, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Upright Moviola, model UL-20CS, 
$2000; Moviola jr. table editor, model M-79 w/ 
3-under magnetic heads, $950; 1 pr. Moviola 
rewinds, model WA-16, $85; Laumic editing table 
w/ light well & drawer, $150; low editing chair w/ 
casters, $25; high editing chair, $65; F/B Ceco pro 
jr. tripod w/ friction head, aluminum triangle & 
fiber case, $150. All excellent condition. Contact: 
Dark Horse Films, PO Box 982, 213 Elm St., Mont- 
pelier VT 05602, (802) 223-3967. 

mFOR SALE: Eclair ACL, 12-120 Angenieux 
lens, 2 200 ' mags, pilot-tone & crystal synch, An- 
ton Bauer battery & charger, cables, handles, case 
etc. $4250 or best offer. Contact: Howard, (312) 
465-2829, IL. 

• FOR SALE: Vi-hr. & 1-hr. used Vi " reel-to-reel 
videotapes, $2/ea.; minimum purchase 20 tapes. 
Call: (212) 233-5851, NY. 

• FOR SALE: 16mm Beaulieu, 2 lg. battery hand 
grips, brand new 200" mag, synch generator, AC 
adaptor, charger, 12-120 Angenieux zoom w/ 
shade & electronic power zoom attachments, tiff en 
filters, proxars. All mint condition. Sacrifice at 
$1450. Contact: Laura, (212) 586-7635, 569-7877, 
NY. 

• FOR SALE: Moviola flatbed M77. Good condi- 
tion, recently overhauled. $5000. Contact: JoAnna 
Allen, Varied Directions, (207) 236-8506, ME. 

APRIL* 1983 



• FOR SALE: I6mm Bolex reflex body, $250. 
H-16 Bolex body, $75. Zoom lens, Pan Cinor 
17-85, Rx viewing, RF, $200. Angenieux, f0.95,Rx 
or C, 25mm, $200. 150mm Bell & Howell tele, Rx 
or C f4, $75. 25mm Switar fl. 4, Rx, $75. 10mm 
Switar fl.8, Rx, $75. 13mm fl.5 long barrel WA, 
$50. Spectra pro meter, all attachments, $100. 
Weston meter, cine still, direct reading, $50. 16mm 
editor, $50. Tripod, quickset, 9-ft. elevation, $70. 
Portable light, battery w/ 1-hr. charge, $100. Con- 
tact: NY Filmmakers Workshop, PO Box 40, NY 
NY 10038. 

• FOR SALE: JVC V* " VCR CR 6100, Sony 3450 
camera w/ Newvicon & CMA, Sony Segia. Call: 
Mike Agat, (518) 474-2218, 462-5002, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Rugged EEP/studio Sony DXC- 
1800K, PB-60 battery, power supply & case; 
CCU-1800, battery or AC operated; PVM-4000 
camera-top, rack or portable color monitor w/blue 
only setup & cross pulse. Everything as new, in- 
cluding power supply & tech manuals; best offer 
over $2900. Call: (617) 666-3372, MA. 

• FOR RENT: CP 16 R/A w/ 12-120 Angenieux, 
3 mags plus 150mm & 300mm Kilfitt & accessories; 
$400/wk. Contact: Neal Lubetsky, (212) 674-8996, 
or Vern Oakley, 243-2009, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Sony VP 2011, V* ' cassette 
recorder, one owner, excellent condition. Call: 
Julie, after 6 pm, (914) 682-8619, NY. 

Conferences • Workshops 

• CHICAGO AREA FILM & VIDEO NET- 
WORK CONFERENCE: first working conference 
in Chicago to address problems of funding, 
distribution, exhibition, equipment access, TV 
sales & other issues shared by independent com- 
munity. Larry Sapadin of AIVF to speak at con- 
ference. Sat. Apr. 2, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 
East Washington St., Chicago, IL, (312) 527-4064, 
744-8944. 




^WOODSTOCK/NY 

$20/25 

• Sony V05800 • V05850 

• RM440 • CVM & PVM 1900 

• Character Generator 

• Sync Gen • Graph Equal. 

PRODUCTION 

• JVC 1900 KY • Sony V040800 

• Sony & Teac Mies • Lowell 

• Schachtler • Pum 4000 

• Sony TCD5M ©AGFA 

THINK VIDEO, INC. 

(914)679-6181 



SUSAN 
BODHNE 

ESQ. 

• 

PROVIDING 

REASONABLY PRICED 

QUALITY 

LEGAL SERVICES 

IN THE ENTERTAINMENT AREA 

AND TO THE 

INDEPENDENT HLM & VIDEO 

COMMUNITY 

NO CHARGE FOR 
INITIAL CONSULTATION 



551 FIFTH AVENUE 
NEW YORK, NY 10176 

212 • 245 • 2211 



27 



THE INDEPENDENT 



VDEOUFE 

Creating 

the Image You Want 

At a Price You Can Afford 



POST-PRODUCTION 



3 /4" EDITING 

*$20/hour with Operator* 
Panasonic Advanced High Performance 

Editing System / For-A Character 
Generator / Fade Box / Audio Mixing 



DUBBING 

• $15/hour* 

Vz " and 3 A " 

videotape 



TRANSFERS 

• $20/hour* 

Super 8 to 

Vz" or 3 /i" videotape 



PRODUCTION 



Low-cost Production Packages including 

JVC-2700A Broadcast & Sony 

DXC-1800 Industrial Cameras. Sony 

4800 Recorders, Lowell Lighting Kits, 

Monitors, Microphones & Accessories. 

Operators & Vehicle included. 



V IDEOLIFE 



West Id Str 



New York 
0140 



1.5 

pounds 




3.75 pounds 9.35x1.87x6.6" 

2 Audio/1 Sync. 




6.6 pounds 9.25 x 2.3 x 7.25" 

Conversions by THE FILM GROUP 

SENNHEISER BOLEX ELMO 

AKG BEAULIEU A-TMICS 

SONY GOKO MILLER 

UHER ORYTEC NIZO 

JVC Bogen SANKYO 

LOWEL-LIGHT SPECTRA 

WIDELUX 



JAC 



'ARPENTER(CINE) 

P.O. BOX 1321 
MEADVILLE, PA 16335-0821 



• 12th ANNUAL SUMMER INSTITUTE at 
Visual Studies Workshop, June 27-Aug. 5. 25 in- 
tensive one-week workshops in photography & 
related media. Includes variety of photography 
seminars & process workshops, printing/book arts, 
history, criticism, museum studies & video. 
Brochure available. Contact: VSW, 31 Prince St., 
Rochester NY 14607, (716) 442-8676. 

• ATLANTIC PRODUCTIONS announces 6th 
annual Chinsegut Film/Video Conference, May 
4-8, Redington Beach, FL. Encouraging healthy in- 
terchange between film & video artists in non- 
competitive atmosphere, conference will present 
full spectrum of regional & national film/video 
work. Emphasis on performance, personal cinema, 
events & non-ordinary projection. Symposium on 
Southern documentaries will be presented. Accom- 
modations: $32/night (double). $20 conference 
registration fee. Contact: Atlantic Productions, 
1508 Park Circle, Tampa FL 33610, (813) 932-5149. 
Reservations: Tides Motel & Bath Club, N. 
Redington Beach, St. Petersburg FL 33738, (813) 
391-9861. 

• WORKSHOPS AT COLLECTIVE FOR LIV- 
ING CINEMA: 'Animation Techniques,' Apr. 24 
& 30, May 1 & 7, 12-6 pm. Experimental & tradi- 
tional techniques demonstrated. Each student will 
conceive, draw & photograph animation pieces. 
Film & equipment provided. Limited to 12 
students; $80 fee. Gary Martin, instructor. 'Film- 
making Basics in Super-8,' Mon. & Wed., Apr. 
18-June 1, 7-10 pm. Includes technical & aesthetic 
instruction. All equipment provided; S-8 cameras 
available to students during entire course. Limited 
to 10 students; $150 fee. John Murphy, instructor. 
Contact: CLC, 52 White St., NY NY 10013, (212) 
925-2111. 

• 29th STREET VIDEO, "where the best edits cost 
less," offers V* " video editing & production sves. 
Sony 5850 decks, RM440 editor, Microgen char- 
acter generator, fade-to-black, audio mixer, mics, 
audiocassette tape recorders & more. Production 
sves. include JVC KY2000 camera,, Sony 4800 
deck, tripod production mics, lights, more. Con- 
tact: Tami/David, (212) 594-7530, NY. 

Editing Facilities 

• WEYNAND ASSOCIATES offers state-of-the- 
art post-production training in CMX 340x com- 
puterized videotape editing, switcher & digital ef- 
fects, videotape operations & Dubner computer 
graphics. In-depth, hands-on, professional training 
offered during weekends & evenings in LA, NYC, 
Chicago, Washington DC & other major cities. 
Contact: Weynand Assoc, 6273 Callicott Ave., 
Woodland Hills CA 91367, (213) 992-4481. 

• NEW SMALL-FORMAT VIDEO POST- 
PRODUCTION FACILITY available to artists & 
other non-commercial producers. Series of post- 
production artist-in-residencies awarded to artists 
previously unrecognized by extensive exhibition or 
major grants. Upcoming deadlines: June 1 for 
Sept., Oct. & Nov.; Nov. 1 for Dec. '83, Jan. & 
Feb. '84. Contact: Nancy Norwood, Visual Studies 
Workshop, 31 Prince St., Rochester NY 14607, 
(716)442-8676. 

• TWO COMPLETE EDIT ROOMS in Chelsea: 
(A) 24-hr access; Moviola flatbed w /torque motor 
box; complete 16mm edit equipment; complete kit- 
chen & bathroom; minimal office facilities; 
telephone; air conditioning. (B) 10 am-6 pm access; 
Steenbeck; complete 16mm edit equipment;, 



limited kitchen, bath facilities; private phone; air 
conditioning; transfer & projection facilities; 
specialized edit equipment available at extra cost. 
Contact: David Loucka, Lance Bird, (212) 
924-1960, NY. 

• THINK VIDEO has post-production facilities 
w/latest Sony type 5 front-load 3 /» " U-matic; 
underscan & pulse cross monitors; w/editor, very 
good rates. Also, location & studio production 
w/Sony & JVC equipment. Contact: Cambiz, (914) 
679-6181, NY. 

• FULLY EQUIPPED rooms for 16/35mm 
editing & post-production available. Video editing, 
sound transfers, narration recording, extensive 
sound effects library, interlock screening. Contact: 
Cinetudes Film Productions, 295 West 4 St., NY 
NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. 




28 



Jeannette Rankin: The Woman Who Voted No by 
Ronald Bayly & Nancy Landgren. Rankin, the first 
woman elected to Congress, voted against both World 
Wars. 

Films & Tapes Wanted 

• DISTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITY: Indepen- 
dent foreign distributor, currently handling over 
500 films, looking for new & old product. Copy of 
contract on file at AIVF. Contact: Bruce Kauf- 
man, LB/AB Enterprises, 1540 Broadway, NY NY, 
(212) 575-9494, 869-9404. 

• SHU FOUNDATION, exporter of vocational 
training audiovisual programs on mechanics, elec- 
tric/electronics, agriculture & medicine, seeks films 
for purchase. Contact: FMS Shu, PO Box 784, Los 
Altos CA 94022. 

• PELICAN FILMS distributes films to health 
care profession, but short films & tapes for all 
markets welcome. Alternatives to traditional 
distribution arrangements offered. Contact: Ar- 
thur Hoyle, 3010 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 440, 
Santa Monica CA 90404, (213) 399-3753. 

• BARNARD COLLEGE A/V SERVICES look- 
ing for interesting films/tapes for annual festival, 
'Works by Women,' Oct. Application deadline: 
May 31. Contact: A/V Services, Barnard College, 
Broadway/117 St., NY NY 10027, (212) 280-2418. 

• WOULD THE PERSON who responded to re- 
quest for footage about cats w/ info about cats in 
South America please call: Roberta, (212) 

874-7255, NY. 

• SUR VEY OF FILM /VIDEO LIBRARIES 1982, 
a guide to EFLA institutional members, services & 
film/video collection development provides info on 
extant film libraries including collection size, cir- 
culation, staff size, job titles, salaries, funding, 

APRIL* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



budgets & video development. $10 EFLA members, 
$15 non-members plus $1 postage. Contact: Judith 
Trojan, Educational Film Library Assoc, 43 West 
61 St., NY NY 10023, (212) 246-4533. 

• FILM FUND applications & guidelines available 
for 1983 funding cycle. Deadline June 1. Contact: 
FF, 80 East 11 St., Ste 647, NY NY 10003, (212) 
475-3720. 

• FILM SERIES: Filmmakers' Showcase Series, 
first Thurs. each month at Hollywood Twin 
Cinemas, 771 Eighth Ave., NY NY. Contact: Bar- 
bara Glasser, (212) 765-1901. 

• SMALL FORMAT A UDIO VISUAL announces 
recent acquisition of Super-8 sound TM products & 
services. Firm will market full line of original S-8 
sound products as well as new products developed 
to reflect state-of-the-art technology, including 
new modular crystal control for Bauer S715-XL 
micro-computer camera. Allows S-8 filmmaker to 
be in synch w/ any crystal control equipment in- 
cluding 16mm & 35mm. Contact: SFAV, 95 Harvey 
St., Cambridge MA 02140. 



In & Out of Production 

• JEANNETTE RANKIN: THE WOMAN WHO 
VOTED NO, 29-min. documentary videotape 
about first woman elected to Congress & only 
member to vote against US entry into both World 
Wars. Silver Plaque, Chicago Film Fest. Contact: 
Ronald Bayly/Nancy Landgren, Fine Tuning Co, 
202 Lindley PI., Bozeman MT 59715, (406) 
586-9656. 

• HOME FREE ALL by Stewart Bird & Peter 
Belsito. Dramatic feature about 2 friends who grew 
up together in Bronx during '60s reunited after 20 
yrs. Shot in 25 days in NYC for under $100,000. 
Contact: POP Co., c/o Independent Feature Pro- 
ject, 80 East 11 St., NY NY 10003. 

• WILDROSE, dramatic feature by John Hanson 
& Sandra Schulberg. 2 yrs. in making, filmed in 
Minnesota; stars Lisa Eichhorn. Story of young 
woman working in ore mines of Mesabi Range, 
Northern MN. At final cut project to cost $1.2 
million. Contact: Independent Feature Project, 80 
East 11 St., NY NY 10003. 

• GROUP VIDEO SHOW available from Visual 
Studies Workshop: 'From Academy to Avant- 
Garde,' curated by Richard Simmons. Includes 
tapes by Juan Downey, Frank Gillette, Les Levine, 
Davidson Gigliotti, Tony Labat, Howard Fried. 
Funded in part by New York State Council on the 
Arts. 3 A " U-matic w/ 50 illustrated catalogues: 
$475/2 wks. Contact: Nancy Norwood, VSW, 31 
Prince St., Rochester NY 14607, (716) 442-8676. 

• SOLD AMERICAN by Richard Boehm. 
Documentary follows 1-yr. progress from seed to 
harvest of commercial sinsemilla marijuana crop 
grown by successful (i.e., not arrested) farmers. 
Growers discuss political & economic ramifications 
of marijuana production, estimated to be largest 
cash crop in Cal. Film will be screened Tues., Apr. 
5, 6 pm in 'Wha's Happening' series, Museum of 
Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., NY NY. 29 min., 
music by Bob Marley & Richard Palmer. Contact: 
Richard Boehm, 71 Barrow St. #12, NY NY 10014, 
(212) 807-0498. 

APRIL •* 983 



m#dernaqe 

PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY ^^ 

STILLS FROM MOVIES 
BLACK &. WHITE CONVERSIONS 
DUPLICATE SLIDES 
PRINTS FOR PUBLICITY 

TOPS IN QUALITY AND SERVICE 



1150 6th Ave. 
312 E. 46th St. 
18 VESEY St. 



212 997-1800 
212 661-9190 
212 227-4767 

















Castelli/Sonnabend 


Videos Film works by 


Simone Forti 




Tapes & Films, inc. 


the following artists 


Hermine Freed 




142 Greene Street 


are available. 


Barry Gerson 




New York, N.Y. 10012 




Frank Gillette 




Tel: 212/431-6279 




Tina Girouard 
Michael Harvey 








David Haxton 




MB 

m 
m 




Nancy Holt 






Joan Jonas 




■ 




Beryl Korot 




■ ■ 




Paul Kos 




' 




Mitchell Kriegman 








Richard Landry 








Ardele Lister 








Andy Mann 








Robert Morris 




9 jSS ~" ■■ 




Bruce Nauman 




.•>-*■»-" 




Claes Oldenburg 








Charlemagne Palestine 




•-. - • « , -. ■ 




Mark Rappaport 




■■'".-■..■■. 




Robert Rauschenberg 








Edward Ruscha 






Vito Acconci 


Richard Serra 






John Baldessari 


Paul Sharits 




■ ■ 


Lynda Benglis 


David Shulman 




■ 

I ■ v -; 


Donald Burgy 


Michael Smith 




■ ■■ ■ ■ 


Peter Campus 


Michael Snow 




Um 


John Chamberlin 


Keith Sonnier 




: 'v ■ '. .. ■ 


Barbaralee Diamonstein 


William wegman 




■ v ' - . ':' j . 


Juan Downey 


Lawrence Weiner 


H m 







29 



THE INDEPENDENT 



• JUAN FELIX SANCHEZ, written & directed by 
Calogero Salvo. Documentary of folk artist who 
has lived & worked 40 yrs. in remote valley 12,000 
ft. up in Venezuelan Andes. 82-year-old artist 
speaks of life & work: weaving, sculpture, architec- 
ture. Film will be screened at Museum of Modern 
Art, May 17, 6 pm. Filmed on location, 16mm col- 
or, op sound, 27 min. Contact: Calogero Salvo, 238 
Shrader St. #4, San Francisco CA 94117, (415) 
752-4964. 

• NUESTRA AMERICA TV SERIES, available 
from St. John's Univ. TV Center. Programs deal 
w/ history, art, culture, economics, music & society 
of Andean region. Principal themes: regional in- 
tegration of commemoration of bicentennial of ^ 
Simon Bolivar's birth. Va " U-matic, 7 1-hr. 3= 
documentaries & 60 3-5 mm microprograms. | 
Available in Spanish. Contact: Dr. Frank Gerace, £ 
St. John's Univ. TV Center, Grand Central/Utopia 5; 
Pkwys, Jamaica NY 1 1439, (212) 990-6161 . | 

o 

• A VEKTA PRODUCTIONS completes first part 
of 3-part teleconference & documentary for Sandoz 
Pharmaceuticals focusing on Alzheimer's disease, 
progressive brain malfunction w/ no known cure. 
Understanding & Coping with Dementia produced 
& directed by George Avgerakis. Aimed at over 200 
hospitals nationwide. Contact: Will Avgerakis, 
(212) 852-7568, NY. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

• PRODUCER NEEDED to help develop fasci- 
nating stories of turn-of-century mining West for 
television. Based on biography of hard rock miner. 
Contact: Jacqueline Crampton, 115 Breeze Ave. 
#3, Venice CA 90291, (213) 349-5368; or c/o Ran- 
dol, (212) 675-1270, O'Connell, 594-2615, NY. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER/AC available for 
film/video documentaries. Aaton package availa- 
ble. NABET 15. Contact: Richard Chisolm, (301) 
467-2997, MD. 

• I6MM COLOR FILM NEEDS EDITING & 
DISTRIBUTION. Footage of Florida Everglades 
equivalent to at least 10 30-min. presentations. 
Suitable for TV, colleges & high schools, environ- 
mentalists etc. Rare footage of Seminole Indians, 
African wildlife w/ indigenous background music, 
films of S. America & Alaska. Contact: Isadore 
Hanken, 1273 NE 92 St., Miami Shores FL, (305) 
751-1172. 

• C1NEMATOGRAPHER available w/ 16 SR, 
fast lenses & lights. Fluent in French, Spanish. 
Negotiable rates. Contact: Pedro Bonilla, (212) 
662-1913, NY. 

• ASSISTANT DIRECTOR available. Call: 
Richard Corso, (212) 628-6631, NY. 

• SERVICES AVAILABLE: Sony DXC 1800 
camera, Beta Portapak & VO 2800 deck; $150/day 
w/ operator. Will record dance & theatre, work- 
shops & performances; rates negotiable. Tape 
transfers, Vi " Beta to Va ": $4/hr. Viewing Vi " & 
Va ": $4/hr. Call: (212) 228-1427, NY. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ 16mm Aaton & 
lights available. Eager to work w/ independent pro- 
ducers on documentary & narrative films. Flexible 
rates. Contact: East Marion Films, (212)420-0335, 

NY. 

• INDEPENDENT PRODUCER w/ national 
30 



broadcast credits offers outstanding edit prepara- 
tion & list management. Time- & money-saving 
preparation for CMX & other computer edits. Call: 
(212) 221-1246, NY. 

• ATTENTION: This is not art. This is TV. 
Writers requested for series. Doesn't have to be 
funny all the time, but has to be strange all the time. 
No deadline. Sample scripts to J. Swift, 239 Parker 
St., Newark NJ 07104. 



Publications 

• HOME VIDEO & CABLE YEARBOOK 
1982-83 contains 50 statistical charts & tables on all 




Successful pot farmer & his crop in Richard Boehm's 
recently completed documentary Sold American. 

segments of industry including cable, pay TV, 
STV, VCRs, cassette & disc software, videotext & 
home computers. Full reports on Japanese & Euro- 
pean markets plus complete financial info on 125 
video, cable & entertainment cos. $85. Contact: 
Knowledge Industry Pub., 701 Westchester Ave., 
White Plains NY 10604, (914) 328-9157; Telex: 
VISTA, INC. WHP 131514. 

• THE CABLE/BROADBAND COMMUNICA- 
TIONS BOOK, Vol. 3, documents problems in 
development of cable industry including competing 
technologies, tight money, lack of aggressive mar- 
keting. Discusses limitations of cable technology, 
current FCC policy, turmoil in franchising, prob- 
lems of programming & access & advertising poten- 
tial. Glossary & list of resources. Edited by Mary 
Louise Hollowell. $34.95. Contact: KIP Inc., 701 
Westchester Ave., White Plains NY 10604, (914) 
328-9157. 

• HARD CASH: HOW TO RAISE MONEY FOR 
FEATURE FILMS, new from Independent 
Feature Project West. Send check or MO, $19.95 
plus $2.50 handling: IFP, 309 Santa Monica Blvd. 
#422, Santa Monica CA 90401. 

• THE INDEPENDENT PRODUCER reports on 
current equipment, services, opportunities 
available in S-8 format, & activities of US & inter- 
national S-8 users. Bi-monthly, $15/yr., 6 issues. 
Contact: Small Format Audio Visuals, 95 Harvey 
St., Cambridge MA 02140. 



Trims • Glitches 

• FILMMAKERS: Interested in a summer or fall 
tour of USSR? Meet Soviet filmmakers, tour 



studios etc. Cost negotiable. Contact: Susan, 
AIVF, (212) 473-3400, NY. 

• AIVF WELCOMES Associacao Brasileira de 
Teleprodutores Independentes, new organization 
for independent radio & TV producers formed in 
Brasil. President David Raw writes that "ideals and 
objectives of our association. . .have much in com- 
mon w/ (AIVF)". Contact: ABTI, Rua Araujo 
Porto Alegre, No. 71-70 Andar, Rio de Janeiro, 
RJ, CEP 2002, Brasil. 

• CONGRATULATIONS TO ROBERT 
RICHTER: For Export Only: Pesticides & Pills 
selected as winner of Dupont Columbia Journalism 
Award, "Independent" category. Film deals w/ ex- 
port of harmful products to Third World; has been 
awarded American Film Fest. red ribbon, best film 
on international issue, Audubon Festival & John 
Muir Medical Film Festival. Contact: Icarus Films, 
200 Park Ave. South, NY NY 10003. Overseas 
distributor: CS Assoc, 4 Hidden Rd., Weston MA 
02193. 

• NO IMMEDIATE DANGER by Joan Engel & 
Gerald Salvo will be screened at 'In/Security: Facts 
& Fears About the Nuclear Age', all-day confer- 
ence at Continuing Ed. Dept., Sarah Lawrence 
College, Bronxville NY, May 7, 2:45 pm. Discus- 
sion w/ producers follows screening. Advance 
registration required. Call: (914) 337-0700, NY. 

• CONGRA TULA TIONS AIVF MEMBERS, 
winners in US Film/Video Festival Independent 
Video Competition, Salt Lake City UT. Winners: 
Lynn Corcoran, In Our Own Backyard: The First 
Love Canal & Edin Velez, Meta Mayan II; honora- 
ble mention: Matthew Geller, Windfalls & 
Women's Interart Center, Tongues. 

• OUR TIME, weekly lesbian/gay TV series on 
Channel L, Sun. & Tues. at 9:30 pm, for NYC cable 
subscribers. Magazine format for local communi- 
ty, with regular slots for independent shorts/partic- 
ipation. For more info: Vito Russo/Silvana 
Moscato, (212)566-2113. 

• MEDIA NETWORK and the Center for Third 
World Organizing are collaborating to compile a 
guide to films, videotapes and slideshows on third 
world issues, designed for use in organizing and 
training. The groups are now seeking information 
on films for inclusion in the guide. Issues to be 
covered include: land rights, housing, welfare, 
education, health, energy, workplace organizing, 
women's issues, civil rights, immigrants' rights, 
and foreign policy, as they affect third world people 
in the US. The emphasis is on analysis, organizing 
strategies and tactics. Send a brief description of 
our work (not the work itself), with information on 
length and format, credits, prices and availability 
to MEDIA NETWORK, 208 W. 13 St., New York, 
NY 10011. 

• TAX PREPARATION for independent pro- 
ducers by experienced entertainment tax consul- 
tant. Call Susan Lee, (212) 925-0302. 

• FIVF THANKS Franza Woods & Steve Rap- 
paport for their contributions. 

• POSTSCRIPT: In Liza Bear's critique of cable ac- 
cess in Manhattan (March), it should have been 
noted that shows on Channel C are not preemp- 
tible — only shows on Channel D can be preempted, 
because of occasional specials. 

APRIL •1993 






You ve got 43 raw cassettes, 

four yellow pads of logs and seven days 

to get an approval copy to the station* 



HElMiBfK&JDS 



Sec: 



*®£ 





FhmFH 



■ 



■ -life 







&JR 






Independent 
Programming 
Associates, Inc. 

1208 West Webster 
Chicago, IL 60614 
312/871-6033 



What do you do? If you're working on a tight deadline and an even 
tighter budget, make us your first call and your last. We know the 
problems of independent production because we've been there ourselves. 

We know you need time and support and creative input to make 
rough edits into television programs. That's why we created the finest 
3 /4" editing suite in Chicago — or anywhere else. 

We offer three-machine editing with full list management on the 
Convergence 104, effects, titling and complete signal processing. Plus 
award-winning editors who make the difference. 

We also give you the option of roughing-out sections yourself while 
your editor is putting the final touches on the open and close. Spend a 
day or spend a week (there's a client loft/lounge for the out-of-towners) 
and make yourself at home. 

We guarantee 15% discounts to any producer working on an NEA 
or Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant because we don't just like 
artists, we support them. 



■ ■■ 



i- 



£1" 



•W 



•wF" 



~&<+» 



rv 






isN&r 



\ 



• i 









***p»j 



'*•- _ 



JjEt 



\ ' ■;■:*'■ 



■ 



■-■•■■ ■■-'■ : ' 

.,-.v.. ', 



FREE-LANCE 
RESEARCHER 

PROJECTS IN ALL MEDIA 
Print, Film, Photo 

Innovative 
Persevering 
Meticulous 

20 Years Experience 

• ABC, CBS Cable, NBC, PBS 

• Institute of the Black World 

• Macmillan Publishing 

• Projects for Peace 

• Rockefeller Foundation 

• County and City Libraries 

BETTY ODABASHIAN 

Master of Library Science 

(212)724-2830 





1 ^^'>'-^lB 


FIVF April Programs 


KNOW THE LAW 


ARE YOU INSURED? 


Copyright Panel 


Insurance Panel 


Tuesday, April 19 • 8 pm 


Tuesday, April 26*8 pm 


• Leonard Easter (faculty member 


• Ron Cohen (Cohen Insurance) 


of Columbia Law School, former 


• DebraKozee(Dewitt, Stera & 


director of Legal Services/volunteer 


Guttman) 


Lawyers for the Arts, and 


• Dennis Retff (D.R. Reiff & 


practicing arts and entertainment 


Assoc.) will speak and field 


lawyer) and 


questions on: general liability, 


• Barbara Zimmerman (copyright 


negative insurance, extra expense 


agent & consultant) will speak & 


insurance, errors & omissions, and 


field questions on: rights and 


many other property & casualty 


acquisitions, privacy, the new 


insurance issues pertaining to 


regulations for cable TV, terms & 


indie films and video projects. 


exceptions, all as applied to US & 




foreign markets. 




FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th floor, New York 


For more info contact Isaac Jackson 


$6/members 


at (212) 47W400. 


$10/non-mernbers 





FIVF 

625 Broadway, 9th floor 

New York NY 10012 



NON-PROFIT ORG. 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 
New York. N.Y. 
Permit No. 7069 



MOVING? LET US KNOW. . . 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process 
an address change, and we don 't 
want you to miss a single issue. 



THE 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 



MAY 1983 



$150 



INDEPENDENT 



International Grab Bag: 

• Self-Governing Film Bureau in West Germany 

• Belgian Video Travelogue 

• Festival Reports from Upper Volta & Havana 





/x^ 




Art Film & 
Video 
from Boston 




*^ 6 









>V ' 




?V 






3 

W DU ART 

r OFFERS A FREE 
TAPE-TO-FILM 
TRANSFER 

DuArt Video is taking all the guesswork out of tape-to-film transfers by 

offering a free one minute test of your videotape program to a 16mm negative 

and workprint. We're doing this because we are so confident that once 

you see the results for yourself, you'll want to come back to 

DuArt for all your tape-to-film needs. 

We can turn around a double-system transfer (including a 7247 camera 

original negative, optical track, and a timed, composite answer print) in three 

working days. And if you're in a real hurry, we can even give you a 

composite* 7247 negative with answer print virtually overnight! 

[*Please Note: This single system transfer does not offer optimal sound 

quality as compared with our double system transfer process.] 

Our technical expertise in video is matched by the best full-service film 

laboratory in the East. And all of our services, Laboratory and Video, are 

under one roof, located in convenient Mid-town Manhattan. 

Call Glen Palmer or David Koslow to arrange for your free test transfer. 
Take a look at what your video transfers can look like 

without having to pay for it first! At DuArt Video. 

DUART VIDEO 

A DIVISION OF DU ART FILM LABORATORIES, INC 

245 West 55th Street, New York, NY. 10019 (212) 757-3681 

39 Chapel Street, Newton, MA. 02160 (617) 969-0666 

DU ART DOES IT BETTER. 

offer expires September 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

MA Y 1983 m VOLUME SIX, NUMBER FOUR 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Hulser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Bob Brodsky 

John Greyson, Mary Guzzy, David 

Leitner, Wendy Lidell, Susan Linfield, 

Toni Treadway 

Contributors: Dara Birnbaum, Maria 

Cohen, Randall Conrad, Roberto 

Gautier, Mark A. Hukill, Lillian 

Jimenez, Grafton Nunes, Melody 

Pariser, Glenn Silber, Ken Stier, Arlene 

Zeichner, Debra Goldman 

Art Director: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typesetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Petcap 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
(F1VF), 625 Broadway. 9th Floor. New York NY 
10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of independent video 
and film, and by the Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIV'F), the national- trade 
association of independent producers and individuals 
involved in independent video and film. Subscription is 
included with membership in AIV'F. Together, FIVF 
and /l/KFprovideabroad range of education and pro- 
fessional services for independents and the general 
public. Publication of The Independent is made possi- 
ble in part with public funds from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for 
the Arts, a Federal agency. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our 
members and supporters. If you have an idea for, or 
wish to contribute, an article to The Independent, con- 
tact the Editor at the above address. 

All contents are copyright of the authors and The In- 
dependent, except where otherwise noted, and reprints 
require written permission from both. ISSN 
0731-5198. 

©F/KFT983 

• 

A1VF/F1VF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Ex- 
ecutive Director; Wendy Udell, Assistant Director: Isaac 
Jackson Media Coordinator; Sol Horwitz, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Susan I. infield. Short Film 
Showcase Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Plan. Member- 
ship Coordinator; Mary Guzzy, Administrative Assistant, 

AIVF'FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Robert Richter, 
President: William Greaves, Vice President; Lillian Jimenez, 
Chair; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, Treasurer; 
Lawrence Sapadin fex-officio/; Daniel Edelman; Pablo 
Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; 
Richard Schmiechen; Thomas Turley. 

A Publication of 

The Foundation for 
Independent Video & Film 

The Association of 
Independent Video & 
Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 



Features 



Media Activists Busy in Chinatown 

Chinese Language Nightly Cable Show, Plus "Nightsongs" Flap* Ken Stier 

Metro Liner Notes on Boston Moving Arts 

Film & Video as Art, Performance & Experiment • Randall Conrad 

Model Self-Governing Film Bureau in Germany 

Filmmakers Run the Show in Westphalian Setup • Susan Linfield 

Interview with Edin Velez 

Controversial Art from Leading Puerto Rican Videomaker • Lillian Jimenez 

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium 

In Belgian Video Travelogue, Meet French & Flemish Scene • Dara Birnbaum 

Columns 



9 
11 
13 
16 
19 



Media Clips • High-Tech Fetish 

Also: Flaking Tape; IDF Stop-and-Go • Debra Goldman, John Greyson 

In Focus • More of Aaton's Pet Projects 

Super- 16, Time Code & Video in the Palm of the Hand* David Leitner 

Festivals • Pan-African in Upper Volta; Cuba 

Also: Dates for Deauville, San Sebastian • Mark Hukill, Roberto Gautier, 
Grafton Nunes & Wendy Lidell 

Notices 

Edited by Mary Guzzy 

COVER: A symbolic surrealist sequence at the beach from Kathe Izzo 's punky "Manifesto of the 
III, " a film made in 1982. See article on Boston indies, page 1 1. Photo credit: Jonathan T. Pierson. 



22 



27 



Editor's Intro 

The globe-trotting contents of this issue 
almost call for an explanation, although in- 
dies who have witnessed the evolution of 
film and video over the last decade no doubt 
already recognize the importance of two- 
way international links. Reading over the 
May articles it strikes me how each country 
and culture devises its own particular 
strategies for funding and distributing 
media — and how much more constructive 
and comprehensive our own approaches 
might be when informed about the choices 
of others. 

In Susan Linfield's story on the North 
Rhine-Westphalia funding setup, we can 
discern the lineaments of a model film- 
maker-run organization which not only sup- 
plies filmmakers with funds to realize pro- 
jects but also supports them further with 
theatrical and TV distribution. Dara Birn- 
baum's "Belgian Video Travelogue" 
highlights some pitstops on what is not quite 
yet an international video circuit, and 
clarifies how context shapes the exhibition 
scene in the language-split cultural milieux 
of that small country. And Hulser 's flying 
visit to the Women's Audiovisual Center in 
Paris offers a hopeful picture of efforts to 
preserve and extend women's media. 

A tempting glimpse of another continent 



whose emerging cinema is barely known 
here is given in Mark Hukill 's report from the 
Pan-African Film Festival and Seminar in 
Ouagadougou. His jottings from the 
seminar on distribution echo discussions in 
the US, and with the New York Third World 
Cinema Conference fresh in our minds, it's 
stimulating to reflect on strategies of inter- 
national exchange and cooperation which 
will allow us to trade alternative visions. The 
Cuban experience, as described in Robert 
Gautier's "Scenes from Havana," provides 
a refreshing look at a country and a festival 
which has been a leader in fostering a Third 
World cinema culture, defying its precar- 
ious location on the borders of the Holly- 
wood dream machine which has for so 
long swamped Latin American 
thea tres. The Editor 



PRESS LIST 

AlVF's Press List for the New York area, 
listing over 200 print, radio and TV contacts in- 
terested in alternative media, is available on 
Avery labels for $10. Use it to publicize your 
screening, fundraiser or production plans. 
Easy to update, easy to use again. Call (212) 
473-3400. 



MAY 9 1983 



3 



Young Filmakers/Video Arts 



13 Years of Continuous 

Service to the Independent 

Media Arts Community 

• Film/Video/Audio Equipment 

• Production and Post- 
Production Facilities 

• Beginning, Intermediate & 
Advanced Training 

CALL FOR FREE BROCHURE 

OF CURRENT PROGRAMS & 

SERVICES 



C7Q QQC-f 10 am— 6 pm 
Of OVJOU I WEEKDAYS 

Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

4 Rivington St. NYC 10002 



THE INDEPENDENT 



MEDIA CLIPS 



COMPLETE 

VIDEO 

SERVICES 



PRODUCTION PACKAGE 

2 NEW JVC 1900 CAMERAS W/ JVC 4400 

RECORDER, SENNHEISER & TRAM, 

MICROPHONES, L0WEL-D LIGHTS 

MILLER TRIPOD W/ TECHNICIAN 



POST-PRODUCTION 

JVC %" & NEW VHS TAPE HANDLER, W/ 

CHARACTER GENERATOR, GRAPHICS CAMERA, 

C0L0RIZER/KEYER, PR0C AMP, 6 CHANNEL 

STEREO MIXER W/ GRAPHIC EQUALIZER 



TECHNICAL CONSULTATION & 
COORDINATION OF ALL PRODUCTION 
& POST-PRODUCTION NEEDS. 
10% Discount to AiVF Members 



ROUGH-CUT 

VIDEO SERVICES 



High Standards, 

Flaky Tape 

& Other Crucial Tidbits 



212 - 242 - 1914 



The word is out at New York's Channel 13: 
"Clean up the air." The impetus to get rid of 
the glitches cannot be found in any official 
directive, stresses Mara Posner, producer in 
the acquisitions and packaging department of 
WNET's "Independent Focus," but it is a 
general feeling around the station." For 
Posner and the production staff involved with 
acquisitions for the independent series, this 
has meant renewed enforcement of technical 
standards. The sentiment may be another 
symptom of the pervading anxiety at WNET, 
where cuts in federal aid and general 
mismanagement have saddled the station with 
a six-million-dollar debt. But it has many in- 
dependent videomakers concerned about 
their access to broadcast. 

The technical guidelines in question are set 
out in a 1980 manual, available from WNET. 
There it states that all submissions must be on 
a "first-generation 1 " master." Any tapes 
produced on cassette must be shot with a 
three-tube camera and a "broadcast-quality" 
deck. Strictly enforced, however, these stan- 
dards would eliminate a large percentage of 
independents from WNET's airwaves. The 
vast majority of independents working in 
video shoot on 3 A "; among these, a great 
many cannot afford access to broadcast- 
quality equipment nor the expensive prospect 
of editing on 1 ". Over the last decade Channel 
13 has broadcast many Vi" tapes in black 
white and color, including The Police Tapes, 
Lord of the Universe and Greetings from 
Lanesville. 

Unofficially, the practice of the producers 
of "Independent Focus" is somewhat looser. 
Submissions on cassette have gotten viewings 
in the past. "We look at a tape shot on 
cassette," said Emily Eiten, series coordin- 
ator, "with the idea that the producer knows 
that, should it come to it, he must deliver a 1 " 
master and that master must be technically ac- 
ceptable." Eiten declared that while she was 
sympathetic to smaller formats, technical 
considerations had the final say. Posner 
agreed: "The bottom line is the engineer." 

This year three "technically questionable" 
tapes survived the preliminary selection pro- 
cess and were bound for the panel which 
makes progamming decisions. In order to 
avoid the panel's selecting a tape which might 
ultimately be deemed "unbroadcastable," 
Eiten had the three dubbed-up to 1 " and then 
tested. The Ugly Dog Show, shot and edited 
on cassette, passed muster, despite the fact 



that the 1 " master was technically second- 
generation. It was ultimately selected for in- 
clusion in the series. In another Vi " tape, 
Festival of (Musical) Saws, flesh tones varied, 
but the engineers agreed this could be cor- 
rected for every cut. This proved unnecessary 
when the tape was not chosen. The third tape 
was shot on Vi " reel-to-reel. Taking as its sub- 
ject a lesbian in her sixties, the tape was very 
highly thought of by the production staff. 
When tested, however, it was pronounced 
technically substandard. It never made it to 
the panel, which might well have selected it. 

"It is not that the independent community 
is against good technical standards," explain- 
ed Skip Blumberg, who, with Jules Backus, 
produced The Ugly Dog Show and Festival of 
(Musical) Saws. "To the contrary, we believe 
in and want high standards to be upheld. We 
certainly don't want our own work messed up 
in transmission." But upholding standards is 
quite different from fetishizing "broadcast 
quality." "What to a technician is a technical 
deficiency is, to a producer, a special effect." 
Reflecting on Festival, which was named Best 
Video at the Atlanta Film Festival, Blumberg 
asked, "Who says that the difference in flesh 
tones was a technical issue? It's an esthetic 
issue. The tape was shot outdoors in all dif- 
ferent kinds of light. The flesh tones reflect 
that. Why define it as a technical problem?" 

When confronted by independents' objec- 
tions to the policy, producers and engineers 
alike point to FCC regulations with which 
they must comply. However, even within 
these limits, there is a great deal that a sym- 
pathetic and creative engineer can do to ex- 
pand the range of independent video seen on 
public television. Blumberg noted, "We need 
engineers who, when they see a tape with 
problems, ask, 'How can we make it the 
best?' rather than insisting, 'We must uphold 
the technical quality of what we broadcast.'" 

It is not enough that "Independent Focus" 
producers have sympathy with the economic 
realities of independent tape production. 
These realities must be reflected in the basic 
acquisition policy. Video submissions in 
smaller formats should be accepted and en- 
couraged, with the notion that wherever there 
are technical problems, everything possible 
will be done to bring them up to standard. An 
independent showcase which officially 
discourages smaller formats on the grounds 
of technical inadequacy is no showcase for in- 
dependents at all. — Debra Goldman 

MAY • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Invitation to 

A Video Preserve 

While, at the instigation of the American 
Film Institute, many funding entities and 
luminaries are alerted to the problems of film 
preservation, few so far have taken heed of 
videotape loss. In conjunction with Lyn 
Blumenthal of Video Data Bank, Joseph 
Empsucha of AFI, Ralph Hocking of Experi- 
mental TV Center and Davidson Gigliotti, 
Anthology Film Archive is looking to change 
all this by launching a preservation program 
focused on video work by avant-gardists and 
indies. 

Because videotape has been in use for a 
relatively short time, little is known about its 
durability. Furthermore, the volatile nature 
of the small-format videotape market has 
meant so many shifts in both tape specifica- 
tions and machines that some equipment to 
play work made in the Sixties and early Seven- 
ties is no longer available. Formats now dif- 
ficult to find include the Sony CV, Panasonic 
12 "/second, Sony AV-5000 color, Akai % '", 
Ampex and Sony 1 " and AV (EIAJ-1 b/w or 
color). 

Other problems discussed at a planning 
meeting in February stressed stretching and 
flaking of the oxide-bearing emulsions, a con- 
dition associated with changes in humidity 
and temperature. Signal bleed-through, 
especially of the audiotrack, has also been 
reported. 

A pilot project to begin copying the most 
endangered works (mostly from 1965-1971) is 
planned to start this spring. Artists should 
send lists of their works in need of preserva- 
tion to Robert Harris, Anthology, 491 Broad- 
way, NY NY 10012. 

Channel 13'sAI-R 
Quietly Folds 

Another WNET-administered project 
quietly closed up shop in January. The TV 
Lab's Artist-in-Residency program, which 
since 1974 has produced dozens of "in- 
novative, award-winning videotapes," 
according to director Carol Brandenburg, 
was unable to raise its nearly $200,000 budget 
this year. NYSCA made its annual award of 
$75,000, but did not increase it. Branden- 
burg proposed that two (instead of five) new 
works plus one work-in-progress be produced 
for that amount, but the Council asked that 
the TV Lab raise the extra funds from outside 
sources and proceed with the original pro- 
posal. Brandenburg decided not to, given the 
economic climate, and returned the grant to 
NYSCA, which awarded it directly as produc- 
tion grants to individual artists. 

Other TV Lab projects — Life and Death 
and Other Matters and Non-Fiction TV— are 
also particularly vulnerable to the system's in- 
creasing financial woes. The demise of the 
artist-in-residence program is one more red 
flag signaling the death of indie/public TV 
relationships. It's all very well to recommend 
MAV1SB3 



jumping off a sinking ship; but there is no 
guarantee that any other opportunities will 
ever surface on the dark, deep sea of 
American television. — JohnGreyson 

In Memoriam: 
Activist John Chapman 

John Chapman of San Francisco died of 
apparent heart failure in late February while 
working on an anti-nuclear film in the 
Micronesian island of Palau. John was a 
generous independent filmmaker who used 
his considerable talents as a cinematographer 
and sound recordist for projects that mat- 
tered. It wasn't only that his films had quality 
and integrity; he also believed that indepen- 
dent films could make a difference in the 
world. 

John came to filmmaking later than many; 
but once he found it, he embraced it com- 
pletely. His talent was a natural one, self- 
trained. Believing that films could be made 
without extravagant budgets or huge crews, 
he often shot in Super-8, and was committed 
to that format as a means of proving that he 
could do as well in an inexpensive medium as 
most could in I6mm. 

His first film was Nicaragua: Scenes from a 
Revolution, shot during several months he 
spent there as a cameraman for Visnews in 
1979. His images subsequently appeared in 
many recent Central American documen- 
taries, including From the Ashes: Nicaragua 
Today, El Salvador: Another Vietnam and 
Americas in Transition. Last March he spent 
two months in a guerrilla-controlled province 
filming the "other side" of El Salvador's war, 
which resulted in Portrait of a Liberated 
Zone, to be released later this year. John's last 
and most impressive production was There 
But for Fortune, a beautifully shot documen- 
tary of Joan Baez' human rights tour of Latin 
America, which includes scenes of mothers 
gathering in Buenos Aires to demand infor- 
mation on their desaparecidos children. He 
used his camera to give both voice and image 
to those deprived of their own. A filmmaker 
with talent and courage, he will be sorely 
missed by his friends. 



Letters of condolence may be sent to John's 
family or to Sara Strom, his companion of 
many years, c/o A IVF. —Glenn Silber 

Red Light, Green Light, 1, 2, 3; 
What's IDF's New Policy? 

For the past nine months WNET's In- 
dependent Documentary Fund has been 
bounced back and forth by its funders be- 
tween an uncertain future and a certain death. 
This stop-and-go process has resulted in a new 
"closed-door" policy that limits the pool of 
applications to the 42 former IDF grantees. 
The restriction was imposed by the National 
Endowment for the Arts panel which "felt it 
was necessary to waive the requirement of an 
open competition for one year only in order 
to leave the staff free for intensive fundraising 
efforts." 

IDF's problems began last August, when 
NEA awarded the project $350,000 (up from 
$300,000) as a special one-time incentive, but 
under two conditions: l.) They had to match 
the amount; 2.) They had to eliminate the 
open solicitation of documentary proposals. 
Associate producer Kathy Kline explained: 
"The solicitation process is costly 
($10-15,000) and they wanted us to spend 
time actively fundraising to ensure a future 
base for the project." In September, more 
bad news: The Ford Foundation cut its sup- 
port to $50,000 (down from $150,000) and the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting reduced 
its support to $150,000 (down from 
$500,000), attaching the condition that it be 
used for a "minority project." 

At this point, IDF was seriously worried 
about surviving, since last year's budget was 
approximately $900,000. Following the NEA 
directive to skip the solicitation process, and 
spurred on by CPB's "minority" money, they 
asked 30 Third World advisors in various 
disciplines to nominate producers. Approx- 
imately 30 proposals were received and duly 
reviewed by the regular advisory panel. David 
Loxton, executive producer for IDF, took 
three of the panel's recommendations to the 
Station Program Cooperative's meeting in 





^f** wmmmm 


i m .}**m»-j*~ 




"-mm 










M 


i 


■ 






\ 48 




8H^^ 




|LJS*8 


'Bfc% >^*"l 


~^^^B 



The recently deceased John Chapman during shooting of Nicaragua: Scenes from a Revolution. 



STATE OF 
THE LIGHT 




1000 WATTS OF RUGGED, 
DEPENDABLE LIGHT WITH OUR 
EXCEPTIONAL MOUNTING, 
CONTROL ACCESSORIES AND 
KITS. WILL LAST A LIGHT TIME. 

LOWEL-LIGHT MFG., INC. 475 TENTH 
AVE. NY, NY 10018 212-947-0950. 
LOWEL WEST, 3407 W. OLIVE AVE. 
BURBANK, CA. 91505. 213-846-7740 



lOUIBl 



E 



THE INDEPENDENT 




THE KNOWLEDGEABLE 

ENTERTAINMENT 

INSURANCE BROKER 

AFFORDABLE INSURANCE FOR 

MOVIES«TV»INDEPENDENTS 

COMMERCIALS* VIDEO«THEATRE 

MULTI- MEDIA«SPECIAL EVENTS 

EQUIPMENT«STUDIOS»LABS»GENERAL LIABILITIES 

NYC PERMITS»SHORT TERM 

RENTALS»UNIQUE PROGRAMS»ERRORS & 

OMISSIONS LIABIUTIES»NEGATIVE 

FILM//VIDEOTAPE«SHORT & LONG TERM 

COVERAGES 



CONSULTING 

COMPETITIVE^FAST SERVICE 



November, in a bid for as-yet-untried station 
dollars. At that time it was unclear whether 
IDF would survive, and while this pegging of 
three particular programs was a departure 
from previous IDF policy, it was an attempt, 
according to Kline, to keep the Fund alive. 

In February, the requested SPC grant of 
$350,000 was announced and suddenly IDF 
was back on its feet, restored to almost the 
same budget level as last year. The projects 
that garnered the SPC support? Reaching for 
a Hard Hat by Gordon Watkins; Testi- 
monials by Diego Echeverria; and Yo Soy by 
Jesus Trevino and Jose Luis Ruiz. 

IDF projects are currently budgeted at 
$150,000 each, so they can theoretically pro- 
duce five documentaries this year. The ad- 
visory panel will meet in April to choose two 
more; but following the NEA stipulation, 
IDF is only requesting proposals from 
previous grantees. Documentarians around 
the country are furious, and some, like Gary 
DeWalt in Santa Fe, question the legality of 
this year's closed-door policy. In a letter to 
DeWalt, Kline acknowledges his "frustration 
at not having an Independent Documentary 
Fund to apply to this year. " Given that the ex- 
pense of the solicitation process constitutes at 
most only 1.6% of the total restored IDF 
budget, fiscal restraint no longer washes as a 
viable excuse. Rather, the order of events, the 
restrictions and the uncertainty of funding 
(resolved only in February) conspired to make 
IDF unavailable to the community, Kline 
asserts. Blame certainly must be placed on 
NEA's panel for imposing such a restriction 
in the first place. Asked whether IDF tried to 
fight this restriction, Kline said: "We couldn't 
appeal it; the panel meets for only two days, 
so there is no recourse. We needed the money, 
so we accepted their conditions." 

For years IDF has been one project within 
the public system that arguably gave inde- 
pendents a fair shake. Notwithstanding cer- 
tain criticisms about the panel's racial 
makeup and award process, the commen- 
dable degree of editorial control afforded a 
handful of documentarians each yi ir made it 
a much-sought-after source of funds. Until 
February, its future looked dim; now it is con- 
tinuing for at least one more year at the same 
level, but its central premise of open and fair 
access has been eliminated. For the purposes 
of the independent documentary community, 
another much-needed source of funding has 
disappeared — at least for this year. 

— John Greyson 

Taking Stock 

"Time is running out for archival film," 
cautioned Lance Bird, moderator of AIVFs 
February 15th panel, "Up from the Archives: 
Stock Footage in Independent Film." "It will 
be harder to get film and it will cost more. 
However, the more compilation films are 
made, the more old footage will be saved." If 
the 70-strong audience is any indication, the 
future of archival footage is rosy, since many 
fimmakers claimed to be using it in their 



films. Bird told them he hoped they would 
make compilation films, which attempt to in- 
tegrate footage into a concept, rather than us- 
ing archival materials as stock-shot filler. For 
Bird, stock shots connote flimsy research and 
not much concern for the implications of 
footage. 

Bird is an archivist and, with Tom Johnson, 
creator of America: Lost and Found. Two of 
his fellow speakers are researcher/artists as 
well: Mary Lance (Artists at Work) and Pat 
Montgomery (The Complete Beatles). Bob 
Summer, a film historian and archivist for- 
merly with the Museum of Modern Art, also 
sat on the panel. The panelists supplied the 
audience with 15 Xeroxed pages of informa- 
tion on how to find and use archival footage 
(available from FIVF for $2). 

Archival footage, the panelists quickly 
made clear, is located in governmental ar- 
chives, private companies, private collections 
and (for old movies) at the studios. Many col- 
lections — CBS News, NBC News, the Library 
of Congress — are poorly indexed and require 
a creative approach to research. Bird outlined 
his favorite find: beautiful shots of 1930s 
farms culled from a movie called How to Kill 
Rats, a now outdated manual for farm pesti- 
cides. The accessible private and governmen- 
tal collections can be somewhat overused but 
hold wonderful film treasures— and an amus- 
ing history: Did you know that Henry Ford's 
private collection, now at the National Ar- 
chives, was once tended by more technicians 
than any studio in Hollywood? The collec- 
tions with the most unique footage are in 
private hands, relatively inacccessible. Many 
of these collections were formed by people 
who "systematically robbed photo lab waste- 
baskets," amassing somewhat illegally-held 
material discarded by lab clients. As Mary 
Lance advised, these collectors can be found 
via special-interest newsletters, but treat them 
gingerly to win their trust. Most of the 
panelists have worked with such newsletters 
and private collectors, but all declined to 
divulge their sources. 

Once footage is located, it may require ex- 
tensive restoration. Bob Summer described 
many film collections as resembling Fibber 
McGee's closet. What's worse, controversial 
films sometimes are "lost": The Army 
claimed to have lost all of the original material 
on the Viet Nam war until a Freedom of In- 
formation Act suit was brought against it. 

Copyright clearance was another problem 
area cited. Archives see it as their responsibili- 
ty to preserve and sometimes sell footage, but 
it's the user's responsibility to clear rights. 
Montgomery suggested that all archival film 
users make a "good-faith effort" to protect 
themselves from copyright violations. This ef- 
fort requires a lot of detective work: perusing 
copyright renewal indices, going through 
credits, even taking out ads in Daily Variety. 
If you've got a big budget, like Montgomery 
did on The Complete Beatles, you can just go 
ahead and let the copyright owner sue you 
and settle out of court. — Arlene ZeichnerW 

MAY* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



IN FOCUS 



Aaton, Part II: 
More Pet Projects 

DAVID LEITNER 



For imaginative camera design, the tender 
years of this inventive century were halycon: 
everyone — from lab to studio to camera 
operator — welcomed with Machine Age bra- 
vura the challenge of devising a better motion 
picture camera. Carl E. Akeley, for one, par- 
ticularly needed a camera that could be load- 
ed rapidly and operated instantly. Not sur- 
prisingly, the 1918 cylindrical "pancake" 
camera that Akeley, a curator at the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, designed to 
record zebras and gazelles on the African 
veldt proved popular with producers of other 
newsreel and documentary subjects. Robert 
Flaherty, for instance, chose the Akeley to 
withstand the Arctic climes of Nanook of the 
North, and soon cinematographers from 
Hollywood to the Army Signal Corps coveted 
the innovative crank-handle camera. 

Nowadays the creative ferment of emerging 
video technology has stolen both the thunder 
and the venture capital from motion picture 
camera design. More than ever the cards are 
stacked against a modern-day Akeley who 
serves up fresh inventions while standing out- 
side the industry mainstream. As detailed in 
last month's column, one such individual, 
Jean-Pierre Beauviala, pioneered crystal 
synch in France in the late 1960s. In the pro- 
cess, the inventor grew dissatisfied with the 
then-current state of the 16mm camera and 
resolved to do better. 

Super-16, one of Beauviala's pet projects, 
has raised hopes and hackles ever since 
Swedish cinematographer Rune Erickson 
began his late '60s crusade to introduce the 
economical wide-screen format for blow-up to 
35mm. At that time Director of Research and 
Development at Eclair, Beauviala met 
Erickson and was swayed by the simple logic 
of his concept. Although general curiosity 
regarding Super-16 waned after a brief flurry 
of interest in the early '70s, Beauviala's first 
prototype Aaton was Super-16 only, so confi- 
dent was he that the future of 16mm lay with 
the extended image. 

"16mm projectors on the average are really 
bad," says Beauviala. "You can't put enough 
light through that small hole in the projector; 
the sound is terrible; the lenses in a standard 
projection booth are old, dirty, oily and 
smoky. If you really want to distribute a film 
you have to distribute a 35mm print, which is 
more resistant to all that bad treatment. At 
that time, you had no lightweight, quiet 
35mm camera. So to make the kind of film we 
were searching for, it seemed a really good 
MAY* 1983 



strategy to originate on Super-16, because 
you have more freedom of movement: you are 
light and fast." 

Furthermore, Beauviala maintains that the 
1 .66 aspect ratio (5:3) of Super-16 transcends 
in form and function the 1 .33 (4:3) of conven- 
tional 16mm. "This year I decided not to ex- 
plain, 'Well you have a 40% increase in area 
[upon blow-up], so you know you have better 
quality on the screen.' The real aesthetic value 
of Super-16 is that you think with a horizontal 
aspect ratio. Making a documentary film, a 
short film or direct cinema on 4:3 today is 
related to TV. That is, [the composition is] in- 
formal. As soon as you have the wide, large 
format, it's related to fiction film and you 
have to compose much more. Also, [in hand- 
holding] you align the image on a wider base 
and you have a much less shaky picture." 

In Beauviala's view, Super-16 is also the 
future of film-to-tape. He cites the 1979 NHK 
(Japanese Broadcasting) decision to pursue a 
high-definition television aspect ratio of 1.66 
after concluding original psychophysical re- 
search into viewer's wide-screen preferences. 
With concerned overstatement, he exclaims, 
"When you think of people like Ricky 
Leacock or Jean Rouch recording the state of 
society, you become crazy thinking that they 
are shooting with a format that will never here 
exist in ten years!" 

READABLE TIME CODE 

Another controversial, seminal Aaton con- 
cept was time code. Beauviala saw that it was 
mindless to implant little crystal clocks in 
camera motors and sound recorders for the 
purpose of maintaining precise, synchronous 
speed while ignoring a manifest opportunity 
to record the time of day on picture and 
sound, thereby obviating clapboards as well 
as synch cables. His leap of imagination at 
this point was to conceive a system of writing 
in legible Arabic numerals an elaborate time- 
address — equipment number, production 
number, year, month, day, hour, minute, sec- 
ond — along the edge of both film and (upon 
sound transfer) 16mm sprocketed mag. As a 
result, synching dailies would require no fur- 
ther investment in high technology. 

The Aaton numerals system unveiled in 
1977 was, in the words of American Cin- 
ematographer, a "veritable technological 
bombshell." Endeavoring to avoid confusion 
of 6 and 9 or 5 and 2, Beauviala had rejected 
the seven-segmented digit universal to elec- 
tronic displays and invented his own rounded 





TREET 
O, Inc. 

"Where quality comes first.'' 

3/4" PRODUCTION 

• Broadcast: Ikegami HL 79 
Camera, Sony BVCJ 110 
Decks, mics, etc. 

• Industrial: JVC KY 2000 
Camera, Sony 4800 Deck, mics, 
etc. 

3/4 " POST PRODUCTION 

• New Sony VO 5850's & RM 440 

• Microgen Character Generator 
w/border, 10 colors, 16 page 
memory, 10 rolls & crawl speeds 

• Special Effects Generator, 
Fade to Black & Wipe capabilities 

• Proc Amp 

• Complete Sound Service 

At 29th STREET VIDEO, Inc., we 

work with you and your budget. We 
share your commitment to get the 
message across - with style, with tech- 
nical proficiency, and within budget. 

For more information 
call David or Tami: 

(212) 594-7530 



Having 

contrast problems 
with your color 
reversal prints? 



CINELAB 



■ '.'r^r 



CORP* 



We can give you 

high, 

low 

or 
normal 

contrast color prints. 



Call: Fred or Peter 



475 TENTH AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10018 

(212)244-7400 



THE INDEPENDENT 



and asymmetrical five-segmented digit. The 
five segments were exposed on the film's edge 
by tiny lights firing through the small cut-outs 
in the railing of the camera's aperture plate. 
Then, however, desirous of full alphanumeric 
characters, Beauviala abandoned the five- 
segmented arrangement for a miniature 
horizontal fiber-optic array above the camera 
aperture. With timed sequences of light 
bursts, the tiny array exposes numbers and 
letters on the film's edge during pulldown, 
skywriting-style. He has designated the new 
system, in contradistinction to time code 
systems requiring reading and display devices, 
Clear Time Recording. 

"Most of the time," contends Beauviala, 
"the sound is as important, as meaningful as 
the picture. When you're making a film in the 
grain of life, you now have a sound recordist 
able to record his own relevant things, and the 
camera operator deciding when to record the 
image without bounds." Time code also pro- 
mises economies in camera raw stock. 
Footage need not be spent filming slates; fur- 
thermore, "very often the camera operator 
runs the camera and nothing happens; he 
doesn't want to take the risk to stop the 
camera because he wants to maintain the synch 
just in case something does happen. With 
Clear Time Recording, you can stop, start 
again, and a good sound recordist just look- 
ing at the way the camera operator behaves 
knows what is happening." 

While Clear Time Recording is the culmina- 
tion of a decade of costly development, 
Beauviala, true to form, is newly excited by 
Kodak's recent breakthrough in creating a 
clear film base that can magnetically record 
digital data. "Because we have the 
microprocessor subservient to the camera, it's 
nothing for the system not only to record clear 
figures and numbers, but also to send a few 
digital bits to a very cheap magnetic head to 
record on the back of the film. This system 
will have at the same time the advantages of 
cheap editing with Clear Time Recording and 
sophisticated laboratory practice [utilizing 
the magnetic control surface] to conform the 
negative from the numbers in your final cut. 
Also, it's quite cheap from the magnetic sur- 
face to transfer to video into a SMPTE time 
track, edit on video and then have a sheet of 
paper [edit list]. So you gather the advantages 
of cheap transfer to video and cheap confor- 
ming by hand." 

THUMBELINA VIDEO SENSOR 

Since its incorporation in 1970, Aaton has 
faced a world awash in video technology, 
much of which competes directly with 16mm. 
The company has equitably chosen to beat 
them by heralding 16mm negative as superior 
in resolution and permanence — and to join 
them, by announcing in 1976 the Aaton 
"Paluche" black and white video camera. 
("Paluche" is slang for "hand." ) Hardly 
larger than the 2 A " tube it encases, the 
Paluche looks and handles like a flashlight. A 
separate paperback-sized camera control unit 

8 



and 3" monitor powered by a single 12-volt 
battery are mounted on a belt around the 
waist. Controls on the CCU permit inverting 
right and left, up and down, exchanging a 
positive image for a negative, and a totally 
unique feature: repositioning the image 90°, 
standing it on its ear. 

Beauviala remains excited by the potential 
of the Paluche: so much so that he has em- 
barked on a color version and, as of this 
writing, turned out a PAL prototype. Con- 
currently, a special color processing device for 
the Paluche is under development. "You 
should give the hand the right to be at the 
forefront of the creative process," insists 
Beauviala, endorsing a transmutation of the 

WE LL ACCEPT YOUR 
PROPOSAL!! 

AIVF is seeking model proposals to 
be placed in our funding research files 
for reference. Do you have a project 
proposal which has been submitted to 
a funding agency and has — or should 
have! — received support? It could be 
a valuable resource for new film- 
makers just getting into the funding 
struggle. Don't be shy. Say "I will." 
Send us your model proposals (or your 
not-so-model proposals and include a 
brief critique). AIVF, 625 Broadway, 
NY NY 10012, (212) 473-3400. 

arm into an eyestalk. "The hand is really ex- 
traordinarily related to to the brain in the 
back, which is the creative computer. As soon 
as you give the hand something to create, be it 
painting, playing piano, sketching, you have a 
real creativity from that synergy." 

Aaton's newest product, the Aaton 35mm 
camera, was the sensation of London's Film 
'79. Scarcely larger than the 16mm Aaton, it 
was designed at the behest and with the col- 
laboration of the iconoclastic Jean-Luc 
Godard, who had ceased directing 35mm 
features in the late '60s to pursue his politics 
down the plebeian pathways of Super-8 and 
small-format video. Upon meeting Beauviala 
in 1971, he moved to Grenoble to investigate 
with Aaton the possibility that a Super-8 
aesthetic could be transposed to 35mm, given 
a truly featherweight 35mm camera. 

Problems plagued the project from the 
outset. "I knew from the very first day a mis- 
take was being made, because topology is im- 
portant for that kind of project," laments 
Beauviala. "We were not able at that time to 
find a free space. Godard installed his 
laboratory, his production house with video 
camera, film camera and everything on the 
other side of the central park in Grenoble. 
And that was impossible, because it was not 
organically linked to Aaton. I had to decide to 
p go to his place, he had to decide to go to mine, 
so we were obliged to phone!" 

This presented quite a handicap for a pair 
as volatile and intense as Beauviala and 
Godard. Godard remained for two years, 
then returned to his childhood home in Swit- 



zerland, an hour and a half by car from 
Grenoble. The groundwork had been laid, 
however, and Godard used the first Aaton 
"8-35" to photograph Jacques Dutronc lung- 
ing over a littered breakfast table at Natalie 
Baye in Sauve Qui Pen! (La Vie) (1979). The 
first 35mm camera with cassette magazines 
since the milestone Eclair Cameflex (1946) 
that helped launch the French New Wave of 
the '50s, the original 8-35 weighed in at 
around 1 1 pounds with prime lens and a 200 ' 
load. It featured an independent power pack 
for battery and electronic circuits. Notably, 
the movement and claw were identical to the 
16mm Aaton: a single linear pulldown and no 
registration pin — in fact, much the same as 
Akeley's! 

"With the Aaton on his shoulder, Godard 
himself made the first sequence in Passion 
[his new film] where the camera looks in the 
sky at a white line from an airplane," the in- 
ventor explains. "This is why you have this 
movement like eyes in the sky; it's not the pro- 
fessional cameraman who is able to do that." 
For Beauviala, this vindicates and fulfills Aa- 
ton's aim "to make this camera for a given 
use, for a given director." Now a universal 
model, the Aaton 3.5, is being prepared for 
the marketplace. Resembling the Godard 
camera, it will feature on-board electronics 
and a remarkable 400 ' magazine similar in 
size and profile to that of the 16mm camera. 

COLORFUL VENTURE 

What of the future? As a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Cinematheque 
Francaise, Beauviala has taken on the sad 
phenomenon of color fading. "We have at 
Cinematheque many films from Russia and 
Eastern countries, from America, from South 
America. For many of them the original neg- 
ative is not available, or even destroyed for 
political reasons. And so the world communi- 
ty only has a print which is fading away." 

As a remedy Aaton is building a device to 
restore the faded print onto a fade-resistant 
internegative. "Th; print is projected onto 
the negative directly by optical means to have 
the highest definition possible. To compen- 
sate for color fading, the illumination is not 
even illumination; it is video illumination by 
which we apply, more or less, an electronic 
negative mask to the positive, which is a 
technique widely used in photolithography." 
Beauviala confesses that 80% of his interest in 
this project springs from another motive: "I 
am fed up, really fed up with the color of film. 
In the good old times of black and white, you 
had imposed on every picture a level of 
abstraction. Now you have a perspective, real 
light, the color and everything. . .too much! 
You overwhelm the brain with non-relevant 
information. I really want to be able to 
modify the color picture to eliminate all the 
information which most of the time hides the 
content. Something in between black and 
white and color." Kodak, lookout! ■ 

David Leitner is an independent producer 
who works at Du Art Film Labs in New York. 

MAY 91 983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Media Activists 
Busy in Chinatown 



Asian Cine-Vision's nightly show offers mainstream- 
quality news over NY cable. On another front, the community is 
in an uproar over an indie feature in progress there. 



Housed in cramped quarters characteristic 
of the Chinatown section of New York City is 
the premier Asian-American media organiza- 
tion: Asian Cine-Vision (ACV). From its in- 
ception in 1976, when a group of media ac- 
tivists and local residents joined together to 
develop media for and about the Chinatown 
community, ACV has grown considerably, 
and now has a project that produces television g 
for its host community in an exemplary ff 
fashion. The programming produced by Chi- 1 
nese Cable TV (CCTV) is seen on Channel M g 
in lower Manhattan and fulfills an important 
media need for Chinatown residents. With 
few other choices on the knob for Chinese 
speakers, CCTV can justly claim to be 
operating as a kind of Chinese PBS by offer- 
ing its community a mix of programs ranging 
from news to drama. For many Chinese there 
is little reason to subscribe to cable other than 
to receive the programming offered by 
CCTV. This lends weight to the suggestion 
that, rather than feel gratitude towards the 
"generous" cable operators for making chan- 
nel time available, producers of vital services 
like CCTV should be entitled to financial 
compensation, just like other key program 
suppliers. 

The existence of 1 1 daily newspapers, nu- 
merous cinemas and a booming trade in pan- 
Chinese home videocassettes attest to a 
voracious media appetite among the estimat- 
ed 30,000 residents of Chinatown (unofficial 
estimates run two to three times that figure). 
The approximately 7-8,000 cable subscribers 
in Chinatown are always expanding, and 
CCTV plays no small role in this increase. 
Judging from the 20-30 weekly calls CCTV 
receives about cable whenever they begin a 
new drama series, that subscriber base would 
be substantially broadened if Manhattan Ca- 
ble could only get its act together. MCTV 
still has no Chinese-speaking marketing per- 
sonnel, which leaves CCTV with an added 
liaison burden. Collecting $11.75 (minimum) 
monthly from each subscriber amounts to a 
yearly intake of roughly a million plus, and 
none of this money goes to finance or facili- 
tate the production of what is for many 
Chinese their mainstream TV. 

This vision of a more equitable relationship 
between cable operator and community pro- 
gram producers seems a pipe dream in view of 
MAY* 1983 



KEN STIER 

another benighted MCTV management deci- 
sion: changing the usual time slot, a move 
which disrupts the audience loyalties so hard 
to win on cable access channels. Without con- 
sulting CCTV, MCTV switched the show 
from 8 pm to the almost universally inconve- 
nient 6 pm slot, when most people from 
Chinatown aren't home yet. This decision 




Chinatown residents watch CCTV show on a monitor set- 
up in the street during a community festival. 

elicited numerous community complaints, 
and when CCTV decided to stay off the tube 
until restored to its previous time (or given an 
adequate rationale for the switch), MCTV 
was deluged with hundreds of protest letters. 

Though CCTV is now one of three Chinese 
programs offered to Chinatown, it was the 
first, and remains the most professionally 
produced, with fewer reruns and a steady 
community orientation. Asian Cine-Vision 
executive director Peter Chow describes the 
group's overall goals as something akin to 
"media liberation" from the mainstream 
powers-that-be. "We aim to take media into 
our own hands as both producer and ex- 
hibitor, from beginning to end," and thereby 
open "a new dialogue between different 
Asian groups and between Asians and non- 
Asians." 

If the term "media guerrilla" has a slightly 



strident sound nowadays, observing the spirit 
of the concept by maintaining links with the 
community has served ACV well. As its ser- 
vices have benefited residents and non-resi- 
dents of Chinatown alike, many have recipro- 
cated, regenerating the original service 
organization. Inexpensive media production 
classes have yielded a constant stream of more 
skilled media workers to expand production 
at CCTV and contribute to other ACV pro- 
jects. Production and consulting services and 
a specialized media archive have shored up 
important programs and research, while the 
annual Asian-American Video and Film Fest- 
ivals, conferences and special events and a 
handsome quarterly magazine, Bridge, 
stimulate exchange of ideas. 

Begun in April 1976 as a one-hour weekly 
program, by April 1982 CCTV had grown in- 
to a one-hour five-night-a-week show, con- 
sisting of 1 5 minutes of local news; 1 5 minutes 
of in-depth coverage of a single issue in the 
form of documentaries, debates and inter- 
views; and a half-hour of original drama from 
Hong Kong, often adapted from popular 
classical Chinese literature. In the past, says 
CCTV's executive producer Nancy Tong, the 
nightly single-issue segment has covered such 
pressing community issues as immigration 
legislation deemed prejudicial to Asians, 
housing controversies and the activities of IL- 
GWU (for whom CCTV has produced a 
documentary), as well as cultural and 
historical events. 

As its base of producers and production 
capacity has expanded, CCTV has also 
launched several new series of programs 
focusing on longer-term community con- 
cerns. "Environment and Health" addresses 
both physical and the relatively neglected (in 
Chinatown) subject of mental health. Other 
programs include info for new immigrants 
about their civil and consumer rights, English 
as a second language and a children's variety 
program. 

Like many a locally produced cable pro- 
gram, CCTV has migrated all over the dial: it 
began on public access channel D, moved to 
the leased Channel J and most recently has 
been appearing on the company channel M 
(which has no leasing charge) along with the 
other Chinese programs. Debarking from the 
public access channel allowed CCTV to air 

9 



The Quality, Economy 

of SUPER 8, 

The Excellence of 

Beaulieu 




6008S AND 6008 PRO 
AVAILABLE DIGITAL 

• DIGITAL FRAME COUNTER 

• 200 FT. CARTRIDGE + TOTAL REWIND 

• VARIABLE SHUTTER 

• FPS SPEEDS 4 to 80 + SINGLE FRAME 

• INTERCHANGEABLE "C" MOUNT 

• SUPERB SOUND QUALITY 

• TIME LAPSE 

- R16- 

MONO - TURRET - ENDO 
Otto Hervic/ BcmiUciL 

4907 Valjean Ave., Encino, Ca. 91436 
(213) 981-7457 



THE INDEPENDENT 




16mm FACILITIES: 



..'lock Screening Ro 



Tested. & 
GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 
3/4" Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



FRESH (we ship on next bus/plsne out) 

Scotch J n Kodak 

AFTER HOURS/ 



RAFIK 475 -7884 



commercials or spots for sponsors, which 
CCTV produces itself. The idea of business 
promotion on TV was a new one for the 
Chinese business community, dominated as it 
is by small businesses content with print ads. 
Nevertheless, the high production values 
(some of nearly network quality on a fraction 
of the budget) and the repeat clientele indicate 
that it is catching on. The rates charged for 
the approximately five minutes of commer- 
cials run each hour, however, cover less than 



a quarter of the estimated $400-500 cost of 
nightly production. In response to the frustra- 
tions of the long-delayed New York cable 
franchising process, which would extend ser- 
vice to Chinese communities in Brooklyn, 
Queens and New Jersey, CCTV is now hoping 
to move into broadcast, probably on one of 
the UHF channels. The resulting potential for 
increased commercial revenues could help 
CCTV achieve greater financial stability and 
expand programming ■ 



NIGHTSONGS FLAP 



Nightsongs, an independent feature now in 
post-production, began as a model of co- 
operation between "outside" filmmakers and 
the "subject" community, but has become 
embroiled in a controversy that raises issues 
likely to long remain contentious for the inde- 
pendent community. Largely funded by 
American Playhouse, Nightsongs deals with a 
Chinese-Vietnamese refugee family adjusting 
to life in New York's Chinatown, and is prob- 
ably the only indie feature of its kind shot on 
location. Because of this community's oft- 
maligned image in America, it is understand- 
ably sensitive to new portrayals, especially 
when the project draws on public funds. In 
this context, Nightsongs' production raises 
issues of contending First Amendment rights: 
those of the filmmaker versus those of a com- 
munity attempting to control its own public 
image. If the appropriateness of the script is 
at bottom a matter of differing views, trying 
to unravel the competing versions of the ac- 
tual production problems is a Rashomon 
reminder that reality is a many-splintered 
thing. 

Writer/director Marva Nabili, an im- 
migrant from Iran, spent three years re- 
searching the project, including a four-month 
stint in a New York garment shop. The im- 
migrant story-line draws both on her own ex- 
perience and her previous feature Sealed Soil, 
which focuses on an Iranian village woman 
caught between Western and traditional in- 
fluences. The 35mm Nightsongs project, 
which is being produced by Nabili's husband 
Tom Fucci, is scheduled for a 1984 PBS air- 
ing. 

Before the $400,000 American Playhouse 
money was awarded last year, the original 
script went through various drafts. Lindsay 
Law, AP executive director, was favorably 
impressed with it at the Sundance Institute, 
where he met Fucci and Nabili. At the request 
of both AP and the Chinese community, a 
Community Review Panel (CRP) was set up 
with members selected by both the producer 
and interested members of the Chinese com- 
munity, principally Asian Cine-Vision. The 
panel's function was and always has been 
primarily advisory. During the course of 
numerous meetings between the filmmakers 
and the CRP, the relationship steadily eroded 
to the point where the CRP recently withdrew 
its public support of the project. Each side 




10 



In Nightsongs, a father and his daughter talk during the 
one day a week he comes home. 

blames the other for the rancorous break- 
down of the initial goodwill, leading to 
charges and counter-charges that question the 
sincerity and integrity of the other. The CRP 
and some Chinese media professionals claim 
that the producers intended to set up a 
rubber-stamp panel to facilitate the produc- 
tion and quell community objections, while 
Nightsongs people say the accusations are 
motivated by professional jealousy. 

The principal objections involve the script, 
and as the dialogue between the parties 
deteriorated, positions hardened. Though 
certain scenes were rewritten and new ones in- 
serted in order to correct some deficiencies the 
CRP deemed glaring, panel members didn't 
think the changes solved the larger problem 
with the story. Whereas Fucci feels he has 
"bent over backwards to be fair and even- 
handed," the CRP considered the filmmakers 
"not very open to our suggestions" and 
bound by a self-imposed production schedule 
that "prevented them from dealing with our 
main concerns." Continued dissatisfaction 
has led to the suggestion that the CRP essen- 
tially wanted to create a film by committee. 

The panel contends that the "realistic, 
sensitive and authentic" film "that would not 
reinforce stereotypes" intended by the pro- 
ducers and founders is just what is not being 
developed. Details the Chinese community 
points out as laughably inauthentic include 
having the Chinese characters sleep on futons 
(in reality, it's the Japanese who use futons ) 
and having someone with $10 go out for a 
night of gambling (an implausibly trifling 
sum). Another major concern is that by 
"stringing together a series of all-too-popular 
media-type themes" — Chinese New Year's 
"Nightsongs" continued on p. 15 

MAY* 1983 




^ 



-Si 

> i) 
1 1 



Metro Liner Notes: 



j*^ 



uwve 



/sr 



txV/ 



l^ vl 



OlM 



y 



? 



Media Arts in Boston 



A 



p^ 




+ 



V\t 



^ 



From or?e w/70 swings his camera like a 
lariat to one who animates toys in videoland, Boston 
indies push film & performance to their outer limits. 



f- 



i 



Boston's influential independent documen- 
tary tradition has recently been expanded by 
an inc^ .-pendent feature movement whose na- 
tional recognition is growing. Yet few realize 
that the city is also honeycombed by a busy 
colony of experimenters dedicated to the pur- 
suit of film and video as a fine art. Some are 
purists; others move freely across formal 
boundaries. 

For Daniel Barnett, a leading experimental 
filmmaker, the medium is a language capable 
of a rapidly flowing poetic articulation, as 
written language became for James Joyce. 
Barnett operates his own optical printer, a 
universal tool which he brings to bear upon 
every stage of post-production — developing 
layers of images, complex metaphors which 
he subjects to even more rephotography. 

When Barnett is shooting original material, 
he uses techniques ranging from orthodox live 
action to the uninsurable (such as swinging his 
camera around his head, lariat-style, to film a 
360° desert horizon in the 1978 Airblanket). 
He also makes extensive use of found foot- 
age: The cast credits of one film list "un- 
known TV personalities" as well as "charac- 
ters from a film by Capt. H. Price." Popular 
Songs (1976-79) reprints moments from an 
old office training film for 17 minutes, with 
variations, reduplicating the already alienated 
human gestures like a time-motion study gone 
curiously askew. 

In making 30 films since 1965, Barnett has 
mastered a wide spectrum of rephotography 
techniques. For his ambitious White Heart 
(1970-75), Barnett modified both original and 
found footage (the captain's) using loop 
printing, reprinting for color contrast, and 
matte rephotography, plus some bleaching 
and staining. Editorially, Barnett uses repeti- 
tion — more precisely, sequences of modifica- 
tions — to "transform an event into an object 
so that it can be used structurally." Into some 
sequences Barnett will also slip some play, 
some buried joke that "bundles up a set of ex- 
pected values and spills them on the floor." 

In his major ongoing project, shot in 
worldwide locations, the backgrounds can be 
filmed separately from the actors (economi- 
cally?) because they can be matted together in 
MAY 9 1 983 



RANDALL CONRAD 

A score from Slinky Music 
by composer/performer/filmmaker Richard Lerman. 



the printing. Meanwhile, this year will see the 
release of China Travel Sketches, a five-film 
series constructed from footage Barnett shot 
in 1978 while a tourist in mainland China. 

Structural filmmakers often choose to 
make the philosophical ground of their work 
explicit. Barnett quotes Ludwig Wittgenstein 
in White Heart. Mark LaPore has introduced 
his Missing in Action (1980) and Dan 
Eisenberg his Design and Debris (1980) with 
program notes consisting respectively of a 
discussion of Benedetto Croce on landscape 
and some paragraphs from Theodor Adorno 
on the writer's predicament. The work of 
both filmmakers is rooted in questions of 
perception and cognition, and their tech- 
niques of image manipulation are finely con- 
trolled. The same may be said for the work of 
Phil Solomon, while the iconography of a 
work like his Nocturne Four (1976-80) is a 
shade romantic by comparison. Another for- 
mal challenge to conditioned responses comes 
from Caroline Avery, who modifies live- 
action and still-photo footage in Big Brother 
(1982) by using superimposition, draw- 
ing/scratching and other techniques to 
reorganize the information formally and 
thematically. 

Saul Levine was working in Super-8 long 
before today's resurgence of interest in small- 
format filmmaking. The Big Stick — made in 
8mm in the 1970s and viewable now in a 
16mm blowup — uses loop printing and 
editorial juxtaposition (primarily repetition 
of selected routines from three Charlie 
Chaplin shorts, plus other techniques in- 
cluding drawing on the film) to hint at the ag- 
gressive and sexual component of masculine 
role-playing. 

Levine often makes films in the form of 
"notes" to friends, to the world at large, to 
himself. New Left Notes, made in the early 
1970s, seeks equilibrium between public and 
private emotions, political and personal 
values. Beginning from personal footage that 
documents political protest rallies, Levine 



7 




edits his material into restless juxtapositions 
that reflect on mass activism, the place of the 
individual, sincerity in media and the nature 
of rhetoric. In more recent films, Boppin' the 
Great Wall of China Blue (1980), Groove to 
Groove ( 1 98 1 ) and Raps and Chants (in prog- 
ress), friends, colleagues and family members 
become part of the interaction. Levine also 
experiments radically with Super-8 sound. 

Among Boston artists who mix film or 
video with music or performance, the most 
versatile may be Richard Lerman, who works 
in all four. His early pieces include the 
abstract Sections for Screen, Performers and 
Audience (1975), whose imagery, derived 
from an oscilloscope, is to be read as a score 
for live performance during projection; 
Ritual Reenactment of Childhood Memories 
/A Time Machine (1977), a film based on a 
video installation/performance in which a se- 
quence of monitors, re-recording and replay- 
ing the original performance with increasing 
complexity, create an infinitely mirrored seri- 
al music effect; and Travelon Gamelon 
(1978), a performance in which bicycles 
become instruments by producing amplified 
rhythm and melody when struck or 
manipulated. The "concert" version (on a 
Folkways record) requires six performers on 
three inverted bikes. There is also a "pro- 
menade" version that uses 40 amplifiers while 
pedaling the bikes through the streets; it has 
been performed in Zagreb (1979 Musicki 
Biennale), Amsterdam, London and Ameri- 
can cities. 

Performance artist Kathe Izzo, whose short 
films (Red Phone, 1979; Want, 1980) have en- 
joyed an underground following here, last 
year premiered her Super-8 featurette Mani- 
festo of the III. The film is set in a 
claustrophobic near-future (remotely like its 
punk predecessor, The Offenders by Beth B 
and Scott B). The filmmaker herself stars as 
the last romantic, queen of a fashionable 
coterie who are too decadent to protect 
romance and myth from the general offscreen 
apocalypse. The interventions of the filmma- 
ker/star, a strategy of narcissism , are of more 
significance than the narrative. With its unset- 
tled blend of trivia and despair, its staccato 

11 



THE INDEPENDENT 



vignettes acted by young figures from 
Boston's art world and its improvised tech- 
niques, Manifesto of the III seeks its lineage 
among works like Pull My Daisy by Robert 
Frank and Alfred Leslie, or the films and per- 
formances of Jack Smith (who makes a cam- 
eo appearance in Izzo's film). 

Betsy Connors has been exploring video di- 
rectly as a medium for animation since the 
mid-1970s. Her themes and settings ironically 
evoke childhood experience with a refreshing 
use of toys, surprise and spontaneity. In Bat- 
teries Not Included ( 1 979), a toy plane swoops 
illogically over a plaster-of-Paris lunar land- 
scape. For Gallery Piece (1980) Connors 
created a diminutive art gallery for her doll 
characters to act in. For the no-frills anima- 
tion of these pieces, Connors simply moved 
all her miniatures by hand as the camera 
rolled, subsequently editing out unwanted 
portions. In more recent animation, Connors 
has explored computerized shooting, for ex- 
ample via pre-programmed disc. Animation 
Installation Vacation (1982) was a 3-monitor 
setup. For the Austrian premiere of Paul 
Earls' opera Icarus (1982), Connors created 
some sections of animated video background. 

At a gallery screening of video by emerging 
women artists last year, short tapes by 
Penelope Place stood out. Both The Secret 
Place ( 1 98 1 ) and / Fell Screaming (1982) suc- 
ceed in distilling a structured, intimate, 
emotionally charged experience from a decep- 
tively casual choice of image and voice (in- 
cluding mannequins set crazily in motion, the 
words of a telephone caller etc.) The Veiled 
Woman, another 1982 tape, was originally a 
performance. (Since this was written, Place 
has emigrated to Santa Fe and completed a 
new tape, Immaculate Conceptual: A TV 
Guide to Heaven.) 

Jane and Jeff Hudson turned from poetry 
to performance video in the early 1970s. They 
later became adept at their own rhythm- 
boxed, voice-processed and dramatically syn- 
thesized brand of New Wave music. During a 
stint on New York's club circuit, they com- 
bined video, music and performance. Recently 
the Hudsons' work in video has more directly 
served their musical output (Europe Dying, 
1982). Other important video artists active in 
Boston include Ros Barron, Antonio Mun- 
tadas, Aldo Tambellini and Sylvia Morrison. 

The work of Dennis Pies, an experimental 
film animator, is anchored in a pair of recur- 
ring themes: landscape, the earth; and the 
human visage that contemplates it. Sonoma 
(1977), which shows a varied landscape in 
continual metamorphosis, becomes a fluid 
calendar, expressing elemental balance and 
seasonal change. In A Hard Passage (1981), 
Pies employs bold watercolors to create an 
ambiguous environment formed of uterine 
shapes; these eventually frame a human face 
(the filmmaker's, filmed live and then 
superimposed) which undergoes diabolical 
transmutations of shadow and color. It also 
incorporates written and spoken narrative 
elements, as well as a track of trompe-Toreille 

12 



sound effects, all produced vocally by avant- 
garde scatman and musician Bob Stoloff. 
Pies' current work, Ace of Light, will concen- 
trate on the expressive subtlety of faces and is 
inspired by one of his spontaneous perfor- 
mance monologues. 




Penelope Place holding a tubeful of her Immaculate Con- 
ceptual, otherwise known as A TV Guide to Heaven. 

The formal concerns of Cindy Greenhalgh 
derive from her primary activity as a painter 
and collagist; in Ruby's Riches (1982) three 
independent, interrelated pictorial sequences 
share the screen dynamically and asym- 
metically. Drawing and painting also form the 
basis of the more narrative animation of Flip 
Johnson (who uses pencil and paint to lend a 
mythic aura to a violent theme in The Roar 
from Within, 1982) and of Gail Banker, who 
is pioneering in a clay-based drawing medium 
(Sketches for the Elephant's Child, 1981; 
Handcraft, 1983). Found imagery provides 
the material for Ken Brown's witty Stampede 
(1979), a parade of free associations whose 
red-ink-on-white images were all created with 
novelty rubber stamps. 

The collections of non-sexist "short films 
of sexuality and sensuality" that sometimes 
play in independent screenings in Boston 
often include work by Lisa Crafts, who com- 
bines her progressive sexual joking with an ac- 
cessible yet personal style (Desire Pie, 1976; 
The Ungloved Hand, 1979). Found 
footage — from an old anatomy education 
short and other how-to movies — form the 
basis of her very funny Pituitary (1979). In 
Glass Gardens (1982), Crafts tackles a high- 
minded symbolic theme — the hope for 
creative regeneration in a blighted world — yet 
chooses a laconic style, its melancholy aspect 
singularly accentuated by black and white 
pencil-drawn realism. 

Tucked among leather goods factories and 
artists' lofts is an informal atelier specializing 
in trick cinematography, the Boston Movie 
Company. Its guiding spirit is Rufus Butler 
Seder, whose City Slickers (1979), a short 
music fantasy danced by live figures in multi- 
ple superimposition, attained theatrical dis- 
tribution via FIVFs Short Film Showcase. 



Seder's unaffected visual-effects movies 
(Phantom Subways, Live in Fear, Sun Run) 
have evoked comparisons with Melies as well 
as a number of prizes including the 1980 Ann 
Arbor Festival's Most Promising Filmmaker 
award. Seder is currently preparing his most 
ambitious project, an adaptation of H.G. 
Wells' otherworldly short story The Magic 
Shop, in collaboration with filmmaker Den- 
nis M. Piana (Cycle, 1979). The new film 
makes use of a Seder-designed front-projec- 
tion studio, and will combine live action not 
only with front-projection and matte work 
but also with animated effects (the latter sup- 
plied by Flip Johnson). 

Barnett, Ros Barron, Connors, Eisenberg, 
Jane Hudson, Lerman, Antonio Muntadas 
and Seder are among the fifty or so video and 
filmmakers in this state who have received Ar- 
tists' Fellowships — cash awards given since 
1 975-6 by the Boston-based Artists' Founda- 
tion with funds from the Massachusetts 
Council on the Arts and Humanities. Last 
year Crafts, Barnett, Eisenberg and seven 
others were winners of the first annual 
NEA/AFI Regional Fellowships. These too 
are cash awards, administered for New 
England by the Boston Film/Video Founda- 
tion (BF/VF). 

Both the Regional and Artists' Fellows get 
their new work premiered in special annual 
screenings held respectively at Center Screen 
and BF/VF. Ten-year-old Center Screen is 
run by Barry Levine, himself an experimental 
filmaker ( Vision Speech, 1 982) and Regional 
Fellowship holder. Recently Center Screen 
has ventured into arrangements to acquire 
and even produce short films. For one co- 
presentation by Center Screen and WGBH, 
some 15 shorts were selected nationwide, 
aired locally as intermissions on WGBH and 
WGBY, and were compensated on a sliding 
scale peaking at $100/minute. Another such 
co-presentation resulted in prime-time broad- 
cast on WGBH of short animation films chos- 
en from past editions of Center Screen's an- 
nual international animation roundups. And 
last year Center Screen commissioned six 
5-minute films for children (about adults) 
with a grant from the state arts council. A few 
local filmmakers have benefited from the 
Center Screen projects. 

BF/VF has lent a hand to a wide range of 
local productions in its six years of 
mushrooming growth, assisting video and 
film artists with everything from ad- 
ministrative to technical assistance, and in- 
directly in such activities as watchdogging 
Boston's developing cable industry. 

BF/VF's exhibition program, offering a 
high proportion of avant-garde work, is run 
by Julie Levinson, who pays close attention to 
local artists. Expanded media have long been 
the norm at BF/VF: guests have included per- 
formance artists since 1977. BF/VF even 
sporadically offered music during a dearth of 
New Wave clubs not long ago; its "Red 
Alert" events, originated by Kathe Izzo and 
consisting of media, music and avant-garde 

MAY* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



cabaret, drew big audiences for local artists 
and bands. 

A few of the artists I've mentioned enjoy 
access to advanced technology at MIT and 
Harvard. Some operate and even design their 
own equipment. Some have done work at 
BF/VF or at the facilities of numerous 
schools. While a handful of the works men- 
tioned have been sold to TV or had a brief 
theatrical run or earned a cash award, the ar- 
tists almost universally make their living from 
teaching, not art. 

For information on availability of works, 
or to contact the artists, you can begin with 
the Boston Film/Video Foundation, 1126 
Boylston St., Boston MA 02215, (617) 
536-1540. Center Screen is located at 18 
Vassar St., Room 20B-126, Cambridge MA 
02139. ■ 

Randall Conrad co-produced and co- 
directed the dramatic feature The Dozens. He 
is Boston editor of Film Quarterly, a past 
president of the Boston Film /Video Founda- 
tion and an AIVF member. 

CORRESPONDENCE 

Dear Independent: 

Because Kathleen Hulser (Cold Frames: 
Northern Indies Talk Shop) was required by 
the necessities of editing to cut a half-hour 
talk down to a few sentences, I'd like to add a 
word or two back on the record. I feel that her 
use of direct quotes around the sentence 
"Many filmmakers live here, but rush off to 
the city to show their work," poorly sum- 
marizes a rather extended thought on film au- 
diences (not filmmakers) in Vermont. 

I can point to many examples of film- 
makers (Walter Ungerer is the most notewor- 
thy example, along with Dorothy Tod) who 
show their work repeatedly to Vermont au- 
diences. Although at any one showing a 
number of "film buffs" and indies may be in 
the audience to give inevitable post-film 
discussions some focus, generally there have 
not been highly informed film audiences. 

Generally, then, many of our more ex- 
perienced filmmakers have looked to au- 
diences in metropolitan centers and Europe 
for a more definitive critical response. 
Although I say this cautiously, I suspect it 
means more to the filmmaker to have an in- 
telligent criticism than a naive acclaim. 

Best of all, I think, would be if through the 
process of osmosis and self-education the rur- 
al audience acquired the film "experience" to 
assist the filmmakers with an informed 
critical response. Walter has tried to assist this 
process of informing with great perseverance 
over the last six years or so, much more than 
my own rather erratic efforts at showcasing 
indies. Through his and others' efforts the 
Vermont rural audiences are getting hipper, 
and the temptation to "rush off to the city" is 
less pressing. 

Mike Billingsley, Director 
The Image Co-op, Inc. 
Montpelier, Vermont 
MAY •1983 



Filmmakers Run the 
Show in Westphalia 



SUSAN UN FIELD 

At a time when American independent 
filmmakers are offered a decreasing amount 
of government funding with an increasing 
amount of political restrictions, independent 
filmmakers in a major West German state 
have won a substantial amount of govern- 
ment money — for both production and dis- 
tribution — which they control themselves, 
with few strings attached. 

Approximately three years ago, independ- 
ents in North Rhine-Westphalia began organ- 
izing to win from the government direct fund- 
ing which the filmmakers themselves would 
control. "We no longer wanted to give pro- 
posals to bureaucrats of the Ministries," said 
Gabrielle Voss, a documentary filmmaker 
from the area who has made a number of 
films on working-class life in the industrial 
Ruhr Valley. Voss, along with Karl Saurer of 
the Berlin Film and Television Academy, 
toured the US last November with a package 
of films called "German Lives," which in- 
cluded such meditations on German fascism 
as Irreconcilable Memories and Voss' film 
The Life of Alfons S., Miner. "We argued 
that opera, theater and other cultural institu- 
tions get a lot of support from the govern- 
ment; why don't films and filmmakers get 
anything?" In 1980, the filmmakers won 
direct lump-sum funding from the state 
government — funding that would be entirely 
under the jurisdiction of the independents' 
organization, the Filmburo. (In 1979, film- 
makers in the state of Hamburg had also won 
some direct government funding.) 

The Filmburo, a statewide association, has 
approximately 140 members; there are also 
separate organizations composed entirely of 
animators, documentarians, feature film- 
makers, young filmmakers etc. from the 
various states. A committee of the Filmburo 
reviews all funding proposals and allocates 
money to the chosen projects, autonomously 
of the Cultural Ministry and the government 
agencies. Last year, its budget was around l Vi 
to two million Deutschmarks (equal to about 
$500,000-830,000), with which it managed to 
produce approximately 1 1 films and dis- 
tribute 3. According to Rosemarie Schatter, 
the Filmburo's business director, in the last 
three years the Filmburo has supported 75 
films and 33 distribution projects. The only 
restrictions on its funding allocations are that 
all recipients must live in the state (this has in- 
duced a number of filmmakers to establish 
small production companies in North Rhine- 
Westphalia) and that the subject of the film 
must be somehow connected to the 
Filmburo's locality. 




The miner from The Life of Alfons S. by Christoph 
Huebner & Gabrielle Voss. 

The Filmburo has set aside specific 
amounts of money for distribution costs such 
as striking prints, printing posters and subtitl- 
ing films for use in foreign festivals. "We said 
[to the government] that a film isn't ready 
when you have finished it on the editing table 
or even when you get a print; it's only ready 
when people see it, when you get an 
audience," Voss explained. All Filmburo- 
funded films must be shown for a year in 
theatrical and non-theatrical settings before 
they can be sold to television. Non-theatrical 
settings include churches, pubs and commun- 
ity centers, while the theatrical arena encom- 
passes municipally funded theaters which 
show independent films for free to the public 
and critics. In addition, with financial aid 
from the Filmburo, filmmakers in West Ger- 
many are revving up their Kinomobils — old 
buses or vans which they refurbish and drive 
throughout the countryside, bringing their 
films to rural areas which don't have movie 
theaters. 

GENERATION GAP 

Which filmmakers the Filmburo funds, 
given its limited resources, is a delicate ques- 
tion. Saurer and Voss admitted that for a 
beginning filmmaker, funding is difficult. 
Graduates of the film schools have a built-in 
advantage, since they already have student 
films and sample reels to show. Attendance at 
such schools is severely limited, however. 
Voss said that last year, the Munich film 
school accepted 60 applicants out of 400. 
(One of the more noted film school rejects in 
past years was R.W. Fassbinder.) Reputation 
is also important. So, while the Filmburo tries 
to be more open than the government agen- 
cies in its funding choices, Voss and Saurer 
conceded that it is hard to "take a risk" on 

13 



THE INDEPENDENT 



SUSAN 
BODINE 

ESQ. 

• 

PROVIDING 

REASONABLY PRICED 

QUALITY 

LEGAL SERVICES 

IN THE ENTERTAINMENT AREA 

AND TO THE 

INDEPENDENT HLM & VIDEO 

COMMUNITY 

NO CHARGE FOR 
INITIAL CONSULTATION 



551 FIFTH AVENUE 
NEW YORK, NY 10176 

212*986 -0820 




^WOODSTOCK/MY 

$20/25 

• Sony V05800 • V05850 

• RM440 • CVM & PVM 1900 

• Character Generator 

• Sync Gen • Graph Equal. 

PRODUCTION 

• JVC 1900 KY • Sony V040800 

• Sony & Teac Mies • Lowell 

• Schachtler • Pum 4000 

• Sony TCD5M* AGFA 

THINK VIDEO, INC 

(914)679-6181 



someone who has no work to show. Saurer 
said he saw a struggle developing between 
members of the Filmburo — "the [19]68 peo- 
ple," politically oriented filmmakers now in 
their thirties and forties with a substantial 
body of work behind them — and the younger, 
more experimental filmmakers who are just 
starting out, often working in Super-8. 

Despite the success of the Filmburo, prob- 
lems with funding for independents in West 
Germany abound. Filmburo funds are 
extremely limited, and filmmakers must turn 
to other sources — state and federal agencies, 
churches, TV stations — for additional 
money. (There is no private investment in in- 
dependent films in West Germany.) In fact, 
the funding situation is so complicated that a 
cottage industry of "experts who are able to 
write applications and teach people how to get 
money" has sprung up, Saurer said. In addi- 
tion, money from the television stations is 
both scarce and politically restricted. And, 
Voss and Saurer repeatedly stressed, the 
Filmburo in North Rhine-Westphalia (and 
to an extent in Hamburg) is the exception to 
the rule. Filmmakers in other states have not 
been so lucky — or so powerful. 

The success of the North Rhine- Westphalia 
filmmakers is due in part to their particular 
method of organization and in part to certain 
aspects of the general political situation. 
First, filmmakers from various associations 
i (of animators, documentarians, women etc.) 
were able to unite in one organization and ex- 
ert concerted pressure. Second, arts funding 
in West Germany is fairly decentralized: every 
state has its own funding agencies and TV 
channel, so appealing to the state government 
is not the same as scavenging in an empty cof- 
fer. Third, North Rhine-Westphalia (and 
Hamburg) is controlled by the Social 
Democrats (SPD), which is usually more 
amenable to innovative arts programs than 
the more conservative Christian Democrats. 
Fourth and perhaps most important, the SPD 
is in political trouble these days — defeated at 
the national level, and with parts of its tradi- 
tional power base eroding from beneath it. 
"The SPD needs a better image among youth, 
because a lot of young people are turning to 
the Greens," Saurer explained. "And film is a 
medium for youth." Hence the government's 
openness to the demand for a filmmaker- 
controlled agency. 

The other major source of funding for in- 
dependents is the television stations, which in 
West Germany are controlled by boards of 
directors composed of representatives of such 
established societal groups as the major po- 
litical parties, churches and trade unions. As 
in the US, television funding seems to present 
as many drawbacks as benefits. One major 
problem is that the stations do not adequately 
fund their projects, usually allocating only 
DM 80,000-130,000 for a 45-minute 
documentary. In addition, they retain 
editorial control and the right of refusal over 
all films they fund. "They're not obligated to 
broadcast it if they don't like it," Voss said. 



14 



"They can put it in the archive. That's in 
every contract." 

F/L MM A KERS CON TROL T V SERIES 

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a filmmakers' 
collective has won a plum from its local TV 
station, WDR: a bi-weekly series of documen- 
taries over which the filmmakers have com- 
plete editorial control. However, Voss and 
Saurer said that this is the only example of a 
filmmaker-controlled series in the country. In 
fact, despite the "progressive" image of such 
stations as WDR and ZDF (see The Indepen- 
dent, October 1982), the stations are uniform- 
ly wary of offending any of the power groups 
represented on the boards, which makes for a 
long list of forbidden subjects. Thus, in 1973, 
Fassbinder was forced to abandon his WDR 
series Eight Hours Are Not a Day after com- 
pleting five of his projected eight films 
because, in Saurer's words, "he dealt with 
contradictions within the trade unions, and 
that was taboo. The capitalists and conser- 
vatives protested the series, protecting the 
trade unions as they are." Other touchy sub- 
jects are the police and the nuclear family, 
which are considered "difficult" to criticize on 
the air. (Interestingly, the old 
taboo — Nazism — is now discussed fairly fre- 
quently, "as long as it's done in a general, not 
a personal way, and you don't mention any 
well-known people," Voss said.) 

STILL SOME TABOOS 

But perhaps the most verboten yet widely 
discussed subject of all these days is that of 
disarmament, rearmament and West Ger- 
many's military alliance with the US. "The 
[German] peace movement is not a new thing; 
it started after the war," Saurer said. "A big 
majority of the German people voted against 
rearmament in the Fifties. The Allies stopped 
the vote and pushed the German military 
forces. I can't imagine that I could do a film 
[on this] for TV." Indeed, the Munich film 
school has prohibited all public showings of 
The Long Breeze, a student film concerning 
the history of postwar German rearmament, 
despite the protests of filmmakers, the press 
and others. The student has decided to com- 
pletely re-shoot the film, using non-school 
equipment and money. 

Although they are hopeful that the 
Filmburo victory will be duplicated in other 
areas of the country, Voss and Saurer also ex- 
pressed caution when speaking of the future. 
The continued funding of the Filmburo 
depends both on the political situation — spe- 
cifically the outcome of the various elec- 
tions — and on the strength of the West Ger- 
man economy, which Voss described as "in 
crisis." When we first requested the money, 
they said, 'Take this and we'll increase it 
later,'" she added. "But we're afraid that it 
will just become less and less." So although at 
present the cameras and Kinomobils are roll- 
ing in North Rhine-Westphalia, filmmakers 
nevertheless keep a wary eye on the future. ■ 

MAY* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



"Nightsongs" continued from p. 10 

lion dances (originally the scene of a gang 
shooting), gambling parlor scenes, oriental 
female eroticism and fatalism — the ninety- 
minute film will project an image not much 
different from the existing one. While not de- 
nying that these stereotypes are aspects of 
Chinatown reality, panel members say that 
highlighting them does nothing to deepen the 
viewer's appreciation of the Chinese com- 
munity as anything other than a feudal 
enclave of indecipherable exotics. The pro- 
ducer, on the other hand, maintains that the 
film is not a depiction of Chinatown but 
rather the story of one family's difficulties in 
assimilating into its new home, and that those 
who object to the grimmer details are "like 
the little Italian woman who is embarrassed 
that the Mafia exists." Chinese media 
workers scoff at this, citing the various 
documentaries that they've produced or aided 
that openly explored community problems. 
Downtown Community TV's Chinatown, for 
example, dealt with the exploitation of gar- 
ment workers. 

In addition, critics charge that only an 
underlying unfamiliarity with Chinese 
character and the Chinatown community 
would result in a script like Nabili's. Of the 
funders who actually read it, only one was 
Asian. This authenticity problem, it appears, 
will remain as long as the screening process 
fails to include a substantial representation 



from the relevant community, and as long as 
progressive filmmakers, including Third 
World ones, consider themselves immune to 
racism. Future productions of American 
Playhouse will hopefully be different, inas- 
much as three projects by Asians about 
Asians are currently at the scriptwriting stage. 

Laudably, the filmmakers have insisted on 
shooting Nightsongs in Cantonese (the prin- 
cipal Chinatown dialect), but this has further 
complicated their work. One crew member 
suggested that this choice made Nabili unusu- 
ally dependent on her Chinese crews, especial- 
ly the on-site translator, but it has also made 
her unusually defensive about this dependen- 
cy. All of this resulted in some crew 
members — both Asian and non- 
Asian — quitting the production during the 
shoot. The Asian members left because of 
their perception of management's general in- 
sensitivity and the frustration of limited input 
into the depiction of their culture. Other ac- 
counts indicated that the team atmosphere 
and morale desirable and perhaps necessary 
for such a low-paying production had not 
been created. For instance, unlike many pro- 
ductions of this scale, crew members were 
unable to view dailies. 

Relations with the larger community, es- 
pecially location contacts, have been another 
source of grievances. One toy store owner 
said that he was misled about the time and 
disruption entailed by a crew in his shop and 
lost $2,000 during the holiday day of the 



shoot. He was offered a $10 or $12 check as 
compensation. The Chinese location manager 
(working on his first film) claims he was used 
as a foil by Fucci, while Fucci contends that 
his employee deceived the store owner 
himself. Later a letter of apology and a $300 
check were provided, which indicates that the 
producers, at some level, admit to inadequate 
initial compensation. The mishap could have 
been avoided, though, by the customary 
means of devising a contract that protects 
both parties, covering even whether the ex- 
terior shots of the store will finally make their 
way to the screen. 

Films dealing with sensitive subjects are 
bound to displease some, and as the public 
becomes more media-sophisticated and as 
filmmakers branch out to treat minority com- 
munities, some clash of perceptions is in- 
evitable. It seems, though, that this project 
need not have roused so much ire and it will 
certainly make filming in Chinatown, even 
for residents, more difficult. For the Chinese, 
the lessons learned (as with the consciousness- 
raising stimulated by the South Bronx Fort 
Apache several years ago) may make the pain 
worthwhile. For independents the lessons are 
more elusive. Taken to the extreme, perhaps 
the question posed by this experience is 
whether an independent film project opposed 
by the review panel representing the com- 
munity shoijld even be made. ■ 

Ken Stier is a freelance journalist who has 
worked in public access TV. 




549 West 52nd Street 
New York, NY 10019 
(212) 246-1050 



Television: Transformations and New Forms 



Fri. May 13 Allan 'n' Allen's Complaint— Shigeko 

Kubota and Nam June Paik (U.S.) 
Ballad of Soldier Johan (Great Britain) 
Around and About & Videograms— 

Gary Hill (U.S.) 

Sat. May 1 4 And Now This— Kit Fitzgerald and John 
Sanborn (U.S.) 
Meta Mayan ll-Edin Velez (U.S.) 
Ellis Island-Meredith Monk (U.S.) 
Smothering Dreams— Dan Reeves (U.S.) 

Sun. May 15 Savage/Love— Shirley Clarke (U.S.) 

Twilight-Shireen Strooker (NDR/West 

Germany) 
Tongues— Shirley Clarke (U.S.) 

Mon. May 16 The Threatened Murderer, Rene 

Magritte— Viktoria Flemming (NDR/ 
West Germany) 
Homage to Magritte— Anita Thacher 
(U.S.) 



Magritte Sur Le Plage— Ros Barron 

(U.S.) 
The Looking Glass— Juan Downey (U.S.) 

Tues. May 17 Days in Gdansk— Peter Berggren 
(Sweden) 
Return of Martin Guerre— Daniel 
Vigne (U.S.) 
Thurs. May 19 A Jury of Her Peers-Sally Heckel (U.S.) 
The Highest Value of a Woman is Her 
Silence— Gertrud Pincus (ZDF/ 
Germany) 
*Fri. May 20 Pages from Zavattini— Ugo Gregoretti 
(Italy) 
Swan Lake, Minnesota— Kenneth 
Robins (U.S.) 
Public Screenings/Festival to be held: 7:30—10:30 
pmat Goethe House, 101 4 Fifth Ave, NY, NY 10028 
*The Programming on Friday, May 20th will begin at 
8 pm. Program Schedule Subject to Change 



MAY* 1983 



15 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Ed in Velez Talks on 
Ritual, Style & the Real 



Creating "documentaries" that aren't so 
much documents as his own unique inter- 
pretation of the world, Edin Velez straddles 
the art /reality breakdown of video genres. 
While studying fine arts at the University of 
Puerto Rico, he was seduced by McLuhan 's 
ideas which were so influential on 1960s cam- 
puses, and abandoned painting in favor of 
video. 

Since then Velez has emerged as a major 
video artist whose works have been on na- 
tional public TV and shown extensively in this 
country and abroad in museums, galleries and 
festivals. His 1978 Tule and 1980 Meta Mayan 
both have a distinctive meditative air which is 
underlined by his use of natural sound rather 
than voice-over narration. These tapes have 
provoked some lively controversies about the 
politics of such "arty" depictions of Indian 
culture. In particular, the Meta Mayan tape 
has been attacked for sidestepping the 
Guatemalan government's attempts to exter- 
minate the native group. Pointing out that the 
sound track includes radio broadcasts about 
the massacres, Velez also replies that his forte 
is ambiguity, and that the people 's will to sur- 
vive comes through clearly in the tapes. The 



"Most of what is construed 
as art is bullshit, and video art has an 

even higher level of bullshit. " 

• 

LILLIAN JIMENEZ 

public will have another chance to examine 
these issues for themselves in June, when 
Velez will open a three-channel installation 
using a new blend of his Mayan footage after El 
Museo del Barrio's Latino Film and Video 
Festival. 

A t present, Velez teaches at the New School 
for Social Research, and is working on a tape 
about musician Brian Eno, who has col- 
laborated with the Talking Heads. Since he 
and Lillian Jimenez have known each other 
through working together on Tule and at 
Young Fil makers/ Video Arts, the artist was 
especially candid with the interviewer, and 
said many things he feared would get him "in 
a lot of trouble. " Now on to the trouble! 

EDIN VELEZ: There's no video in Puerto 
Rico, so I came to NY and started hanging 
around places like Global Village. When 1 
walked in and said I'd like to learn video, they 
gave me $35 a week and let me crash in the 
back. When no one was using the equipment I 
would play around with it, learning by trial 
and error. I stayed about six months. My wife 
Ethel had a good job; with the money she 
saved we went back to Puerto Rico for a year 




During Holy Week, boys in purple robes carry statues of the saints through the streets ot Antigua. Meta Mayan II. 
16 



and a half. I thought I would make video 
there. We borrowed money and bought a Por- 
tapak to take with us. I tried to interest people 
in the government in doing video and they all 
laughed. I went to art schools and showed 
videotapes, and they all yawned. I ended up 
pumping gas in a gas station. So we went back 
to NY and hung around a part of the Mercer 
Arts Center called The Kitchen, run by the 
Vasulkas. Nam June Paik would be there 
asleep in the back; people would show up with 
tapes every night, then sit around and chat. 
At that time I was making abstract, colorized 
tapes. Video wallpaper. I felt that this could 
eventually evolve into something more emo- 
tional, more Latin. But I could never get any 
meaning out of abstract. So I quit that and 
started going out in the street and shooting 
real people. 

LILLIAN JIMENEZ: How did you get 
started on the Tule project? 

EV: I saw a promotional film that featured 
the Cuna Indians off the coast of Panama. 
Their culture was said to be a matriarchy. I 
couldn't convince anyone to fund me to go 
down there, so I just did it on credit cards. We 
shot a little tape, then tried again to get fund- 
ing, and that didn't work. So we went back on 
our own money. I took a student [Lillian 
Jimenez] with me. We had our share of 
adventurous shooting — fun isn't the word, 
exactly. I came back and edited Tule. Even 
though it dealt with real people and real situa- 
tions, it didn't quite live up to the norms of 
normal documentaries. We showed it around 
and nobody liked it. I got very depressed and 
went to bed for three days. 

LJ: Why didn't people like it? 

EV: I don't know. The fact that it didn't 
have any frame of reference was confusing. 
But I wanted to keep it mysterious. It wasn't 
really meant to explain these people — I wasn't 
the person to do that. Rather, it was an at- 
tempt to let people look. A lot of people loved 
it, a lot hated it. 

LJ; Tule was pretty controversial. Some peo- 
ple thought you exploited the people — that 

MAY •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



you went down there and came back with im- 
ages of "happy natives." 

EV: I can understand that. Practically every 
indigenous group in this hemisphere has been 
screwed over. But these people are different. 
They aren't downtrodden; they are proud. 
For reasons that are too complex to go into 
here, they have been left autonomous by the 
Panamanians. I think it's hard for people to 
deal with that — everyone is so set on thinking 
that an Indian must be totally oppressed. 

LJ: But didn't you romanticize them a bit? 

EV: Yes, I did. It's a very romantic tape. But S 
the core of it is true, and true to my feelings > 
when I was there. We spent a month and a g 
half in Panama, and it took 2'/: years to 
make. In those years, I didn't change my 
mind about the inherent pride and strength of 
these people. It's not strength in adversity, 
but strength in just doing well. I think it's 
pretty obviously not supposed to be an ethnic 
documentary, even though it has been shown 
at ethnographic film festivals. 

LJ: Were there any film or videomakers who 
especially influenced your work on Tule? 

EV: Juan Downey, early on in his career, was 
doing b/w tapes in South America. I was very 
impressed by them — not by his style, but 
because he simply showed it was possible to 
carry video stuff to these places. Also, he has 
been dealing with his identity within Latin 
America; and I have been, too, to a certain 
degree. I always felt that Juan's work was 
partly about himself. Another influence has 
been musical. I was listening to a lot of music 
by Philip Glass when 1 was in Panama. His 
approach to music was something 1 tried to in- 
corporate in structuring video. As a matter of 
fact I play Philip Glass and Brian Eno when 
I'm shooting and when I'm editing. It never 
gets on the tapes, but it's in the background 
all the time, and the musical patterns get into 
the tapes. 

LJ: How did Meta Mayan develop? 

EV: After I shot Tule, I spent about a year 
showing it or trying to get it shown. Mean- 
while I had to eat, so I did a tape for one of 
these foundations that helps Central 
America. I was sent to Guatemala City to do a 
documentary on applied technology. While I 
was there I spent a few days visiting the Asen- 
timientos slums — open sewers, houses made 
of cardboard, all very depressing. That was 
my first impression of Guatemala. Then I 
went out into the countryside, which is 
magnificent, and I fell in love with it. It stayed 
in my head. When I finally decided to do 
another tape, I wanted to do it in Central 
America. We ended up going to Guatemala, 
renting a car and driving around. We spent a 
week taping Holy Week ceremonies, which 
are purely Catholic — your basic Spanish im- 
MAY 9 1983 



perialist religion. We went off into the moun- 
tains and spent time in different villages. I 
don't make CBS exposes or political docu- 
mentaries; I just don't know how. So in Gua- 
temala I was thinking: how can you approach 
the reality of people who are being destroyed, 
who are literally being slaughtered wholesale? 
How can you approach that politically? That 
was very, very tough. There were many days 
when I didn't know if I should have been 
there at all. I would stop working for days at a 
time trying to get a handle on it. I don't want 
to place myself in the context of Picasso, but 
he had his Guernica; Goya made lots of 




A Mayan woman burns incense to the gods in Meta 
Mayan II. 

political etchings and paintings. So there is a 
history of fine art dealing with political issues. 
I tried it and I feel that what I ended up with, 
in Meta Mayan, reflects a mood rather than 
any direct statement. I chose my shots pretty 
carefully to relate to the political situation. 
The tape reflects what I felt should be 
reflected. I feel it makes as strong a statement 
as the CBS report on Central America, which 
was a very good political documentary. But 
I've been attacked for Meta Mayan, too. You 
can't please everyone. 

LJ: Meta Mayan is very different from Tule. 
How do you perceive the difference? 

EV: In Tule I tried as much as possible not to 
intrude, except in a few instances where I used 
slow motion or something like that. It's trans- 
parent — your basic video verite: shooting 
what happens. But in Meta Mayan everything 
is modified. Perhaps 90% of the tape is shot 



in various degrees of slow motion. I did this to 
emphasize faces and expressions, and I picked 
shots which were essentially transitions, mak- 
ing them into the heart of the tape. Normally, 
when someone walks by with a certain look, 
it's gone within five seconds. I wanted to 
stretch it out so people could actually see it. I 
also felt that slow motion related a certain 
rhythm inherent in their world, with the ex- 
ception of places like the marketplace, which 
is as hectic as in any large city. So I cut the 
marketplace in a different way. I remember 
being jostled and pushed around with the 
camera; I tried to keep that feel in the tape. 

LJ: Did Meta Mayan achieve what you 
wanted it to achieve? 

EV: The problem with the way I make tapes 
is that I don't know what I set out to do, 
though I do know what I don't want. It's a 
process of negative deduction. One thing I did 
want to get into Meta Mayan was mythology 
and religion in Guatemala. I started with a lot 
of quotes from the Popul Vuh, which is the 
Mayan Bible, but gradually I pared them 
down to only one. I also wanted to give the 
feeling that the things we observed happening 
constantly were things that went on after we 
left. That's why the closing shot is the same as 
the opening: the woman with the water can. I 
wanted to convey the message of oppression 
and ritual, and balance that with my concern 
with style. A lot of people say that the 
message of the tape is not clear. They are not 
sure whether these people are being affected 
by the political situation, or what the tape 
says about the political situation. I like that: 
The audience should bring something into the 
tape. If I had laid it right out there I would be 
insulting people's intelligence. 

LJ: But that's based on the premise that peo- 
ple have, in fact, some idea of what's going on 
politically in Guatemala, whereas there's so 
much disinformation here in the United 
States. 

EV: I agree with that. But I didn't make Meta 
Mayan to be shown to the general public. 
When I was making it I wasn't thinking, 
"How will this play on public TV, or cable?" 
Of course, I want people to see my work, 
but — this sounds arrogant so I'm afraid to say 
it — I want them to see it on my terms. It 
sounds very ivory-towerish, but I haven't 
chosen to work this way; I have to. I have to 
do it in a way that feels honest. If I don't 
make tapes I'm neurotic and unhappy, but if I 
do make tapes they have to be what I feel I 
want to make. Luckily, my tapes have been 
enjoyed, if I can use that word. Many people 
have really gotten the gist of what I'm trying 
to convey. Personally, I think Meta Mayan is 
my best tape. When I did Tule I liked it, but 
when I look at Meta Mayan I feel it's much 
more advanced. 

LJ: How would you describe your work? 

17 



THE INDEPENDENT 



VDEOUFE 

Creating 

the Image You Want 

At a Price You Can Afford 



POST-PRODUCTION 



3 / 4 " EDITING 

• $20/hour with Operator* 
Panasonic Advanced High Performance 

Editing System / For-A Character 
Generator / Fade Box / Audio Mixing 



DUBBING 

• $15/hour* 

1/2" and 3 /4" 

videotape 



TRANSFERS 

• $20/hour* 

Super 8 to 

V2" or 3 A" videotape 



PRODUCTION 



Low-cost Production Packages including 

' JVC-2700A Broadcast & Sony 

DXC-1800 Industrial Cameras. Sony 

4800 Recorders, Lowell Lighting Kits, 

Monitors, Microphones & Accessories. 

Operators & Vehicle included. 



VIDEOLIFE 



West lb Street. New York 
(212) b2()-014b 



Video art, representational documentary, ex- 
perimental? 

EV: Personal observations. I just submitted 
my work to a festival under the documentary 
category and it won a prize under the title 
"video art." But most of what is construed as 
art is bullshit, and video art has an even higher 
level of bullshit artists. 

LJ: But don't you think that what you do is 
art? 

EV: The problem with art is that it tends to 
be an elitist term. I feel that certain cooks are 
artists, that people who make furniture are 
artists. 

LJ: Whose work in video or film do you 
admire? 

EV: Most of the people I admire are film- 
makers. I like very, very few video people. 
Most video work I have seen is extremely bor- 
ing. I seldom go to video screenings. If video 
people took a little time to look at film work, 
their own work might be less repetitious. They 
are just rediscovering things filmmakers have 
been doing for years. 

LJ: Don't you think that has to do with video 
being in its infancy? 

EV: But I see a lot of video that is directly 



m^dernage 

PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY K ^ 



STILLS FROM MOVIES 
BLACK &. WHITE CONVERSIONS 
DUPLICATE SLIDES 
PRINTS FOR PUBLICITY 

TOPS IN QUALITY AND SERVICE 

1150 6th Ave. 212 997-1800 
312 E. 46th St. 212 661-9190 
18 VESEY St. 212 227-4767 



18 



related to filmmakers' stuff that has been 
around for a long time. Actually, the person I 
feel the most empathy for is Les Blank. I see a 
lot of parallels between what I would like to 
do and what he has done. His work is also in a 
grey area: it's documentary, but it isn't really. 

LJ: Do you consider yourself a Puerto Rican 
artist or an artist who is Puerto Rican? 

EV: Having a middle-class Puerto Rican 
background, I am sort of cultureless, because 
the vast majority of the Puerto Rican middle 
classes get their values and standards from the 
US. One of the reasons I started doing Central 
American tapes, probably, was to make a 
connection with being Latin. By the same 
token, I feel that chauvinism is detrimental. I 
try to think of myself as a world citizen. So 
the answer to your question is: I am an artist 
who happens to be Puerto Rican. There have 
even been times when I have been turned 
down for [for funds] because my work wasn't 
sufficiently "Puerto Rican." It's pigeonhol- 
ing to say, "You must do tapes that relate to 
being a Latin American." 

LJ: Have you ever considered doing a tape 
on Puerto Rico or on Puerto Ricans or Latin 
Americans in the context of the US? 

EV: I did, I did. I was just going over my 
videography and realized that in 1977 I had 
done a piece on a guy who made masks for the 
carnival on the feast of St. James in 
Loisaldea. He made masks out of coconut 
shells for practically the entire island. We in- 
terviewed him and showed the feast. But I 
found that, having been brought up there and 
gone through some problems there, there 
were a lot of unanswered questions in my 
mind about Puerto Rico — personal questions 
not having to do with being Latin. Puerto 
Rico is too close to me for me to be able to see 
it properly. I would like to see more Latins do 
work that relates to the world at large. 

LJ: Don't you think that non-Latins are 
making too much of the material there is on 
us? Don't you think there's a need for us to 
interpret our own reality? 

EV: True, but I wonder how that can be ac- 
complished. When I was growing up everyone 
I knew had creative impulses geared toward 
music. But I think one of the problems of 
places like Puerto Rico is that the economy 
cannot support people doing film and video. 
It's tough to survive there. The economy and 
its links to the US are the basic reasons Puerto 
Rico doesn't produce film and videomakers 
in quantity. 

LJ: You don't think it's a question of col- 
onialist ideology? 

EV: I think it's both. Ideology is definitely 
connected to the dollars. If you don't give 
people money, they can't be heard as easily. ■ 

MAY • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



If It's Tuesday, 

This Must Be Belgium 



DARA BIRNBAUM 

Early last fall when neighboring French and 
German TV stations ceased to deliver a night- 
ly weathercast, the surviving Belgian weather- 
caster, Weerman Armand Pien, a Fleming, 
was suddenly deluged with mail. The letters 
were from Belgian francophones asking him 
to give a weathercast in French. He answered 
on the air in his native Flemish: "I'm sorry, 
but I belong to the Dutch community and I 
can't make my weather report in French. But 
this exception I can say to you in French: 
'Mesdames, Messieurs, si vous appreniez un 
peu de Flamand, vous comprendriez man 
bulletin du temps!'" 

What does this have to do with the indepen- 
dent video community in Belgium? Every- 
thing. It is indicative of the political and social 
climate in which these videomakers must 
work, obtain funding and support, be it 
psychological or technological. In a country 
which can receive broadcasts from England, 
France and Holland, the regions are separated 
by schisms that are as large as Belgium's 
geography is small. During my two and a half 
weeks of Belgian travel, I found that the best 
way I could warm up my audience was to tell 
jokes I had learned en route about the split 
community and its non-communications. 

How is this split community dealing with 
video and television? The French and the 
Flemish have their own Departments of 
Culture and, as a result, their own distinct art 
policies. Working with video in Flanders 
usually means acting on your own initiative. 
This differs sharply from the French pro- 
vinces, where since 1975 the authorities have 
both licensed and subsidized local television 
for their community. Currently four of the 
original local French stations are still 
operative— Canal Emploi and RTC Canal in 
Liege, as well as Notele in Tournai and Video- 
Bus in Jambes — and are principally con- 
cerned with social and political issues. There 
are tentative plans to extend programming in- 
to the area of independent artists' works as 
well. 

FRENCH SCENE 

Further support within the francophone 
community is provided by RTBF, the French- 
speaking national channel. Since 1975 
RTBF's Videographie, directed by Jean-Paul 
Trefois, has regularly opened its facilities to 
Belgian, American and European artists to 
create works-in-residence. In the past this has 
enabled artists such as Robert Ashley (NY) 
and Nan Hoover (Amsterdam) to extend their 
works to broadcast TV. Videographie, in col- 
laboration with the Musee d'Art Moderne de 
MAV19B3 



Liege, is also responsible for "Video? Vous 
avez dit Video?", a series of lectures and 
screenings organized both within and outside 
Liege, the program's home base. The fall 
1982 season provided "artist-appearances" of 
Nam June Paik, as well as myself, and broad- 
casts of the works of Marie Andre, Nam June 
Paik and Bill Viola. 

In Brussels an audio-visual library, The 
Mediatheque, serves the French community. 



FLEMISH PROJECTS 

Other clubs have become "video ex- 
hibitors" as well, including Montevideo, King 
Hong and Club Moral in the Flemish 
community. It is this community which can 
also take credit for first introducing "video 
art" to Belgium through the Internationaal 
Cultured Centrum (ICC) in Antwerp. Last 
November, this center was in danger of mak- 
ing a reactionary shift back to exhibiting more 
traditional forms of art to the total exclusion 
of their video program. French and Flemish 
video artists as well as a healthy, mainly 
younger contingent are fighting the policy 
change as best they can. The demise of ICC's 
video program would put an end to an institu- 
tion which, under the original guidance of 
Flor Bex and a group of capable collabora- 
tors, had become the leading center of video 
art in Belgium. Trouble with the Department 




Strolling a la Muybridge in Marcher ou La Fin du Temps 
Modernes, a videotape by Michelle Blondel & Boris 
Lehman produced at Belgium's RTBF TV Lab. 

In addition to screenings and programs, The 
Mediatheque publishes (in French) 
Videodoc', an informative monthly magazine 
covering the broadcast and cable industries as 
well as independents and video artists. At 
both the Palais des Beaux Arts and the Le 
Cambre art academy, Michel Baudson pro- 
vides additional support to video art. 

Activities within Brussels are not restricted 
to academic, institutional or broadcast 
/cablecast support. Similar to trends clearly 
visible in New York, video has become closely 
allied to music. The New Wave record label 
La Crepuscule attracts a fashionable public to 
their video-magazine with video/music 
"clips." Recently, Le Plan K — an extra- 
ordinary French alternative space like a four- 
story stack of Kitchen Centers crossed with a 
rock club — started a weekly program of video 
shows. "Berlin Night" at Le Plan K showed 
how the space handles video. As Materia!, a 
Berlin rock group, played to an audience on 
the first floor, a large video projection screen 
was strung out between columns on the se- 
cond floor, filling the space with "giant TV." 
Twenty-foot-wide images from my collage 
tapes — Kojak, Wonder Woman, Olympic 
Skaters and the Strip in LA showed intact in- 
stead of being montaged with other images 
and sound, a frequent problem with screening 
works in New York clubs. 




23 



Years of Award - 
Winning Films 



• Complete Animation Services 

• Special Effects 

• Title Design 

• Computerized Oxberry 
With Image Expander 

• Slides to Film 



Film Planning Associates mc 

38 East 20 Street 
New York, NY 10003 
212-260-7140 



19 



THE INDEPENDENT 



of Culture had already begun during Bex's 
administration. Since Flor Bex was fired, the 
public doesn't know how the highly 
sophisticated video equipment is now being 
used — only one of the many unresolved "rid- 
dles" surrounding ICC. Another is the resolu- 
tion signed by the Department of Culture pro- 
viding for a local television permit for ICC. 
Permission was afterwards denied, with the 
Department of Culture substituting an 
audiovisual center which produces only 
documentary and instructional video pro- 
grams. 

The Flemish national channel BRT had 



Charleroi Festival 

In 1983 a major historical exhibition, 
"Art Video: Retrospectives et Perspec- 
tives," was organized by Laurent Busine 
and Jean-Paul Trefois for the Palais des 
Beaux-Arts, Charleroi. Covering two large 
floors, this international show included 
thirteen installations, with strong work by 
Marie-Jo Lafontaine and Catherine Ikam; 
a video-performance by Ulrike Rosen- 
bach; and 150 videotapes. The latter were 
screened at scheduled times in two 50-seat 
auditoria, as well as by request in two 
small galleries. 

Attending the exhibition opening were 
Belgium's leading art writers and art 
patrons, artists and numerous political 
personages, in addition to many others 
from neighboring countries. The exhibi- 
tion was a great success, given excellent 
coverage in periodicals and newspapers 
and on radio and television programs. But 
most importantly, the show brought in- 
dependent video to the attention of a large 
audience in Belgium. 

A well-researched exhibition/festival 
like the recent one in Charleroi helps pro- 
duce the critical evaluation necessary to 
advance video. However, while fine works 
were assembled in Charleroi, there were 
serious flaws in the exhibition conditions, 
particularly the improper handling of 
sound. When audio from four adjacent 
galleries is heard simultaneously, the 
viewer cannot give proper attention to any 
of the works. 

What is learned from such experiences 
must be shared. A Paik videotape has to be 
given the same consideration as a Picasso 
painting or a Godard film. They are all 
serious works of art. — Barbara London ■ 



shown no interest in artists' video until 
January, when Chris Dercon (an independent 
who has produced, curat ed and written on 
video) was asked to assemble a program of 
local and international video work for a possi- 
ble two-hour broadcast. If this program goes 
through, it would be unprecedented, since 
neither the US nor Belgium has ever devoted a 
national broadcast to video as an art form. 
(CBS Cable's Mixed Bag, eliminated in 1982 

20 



when CBS Cable folded, did present brief 
"clips" from artists' works with an overview- 
narrative.) 

This new interest by BRT reflects the curi- 
osity generally evident among the Flemish. 
When I had a screening planned in Leuven (a 
young Flemish university town), the local per- 
formance/theater center refused to present 
the work, stating that there simply was not 
enough interest in video to guarantee against 
financial loss. When they heard that no 
presentation of my work would be done in 
Leuven, the University and a local video 
group, Nervoso, got together to make it hap- 
pen. The head of the art history department, 
open and enthusiastic about new art forms, 
presented the work to an SRO audience in an 
auditorium provided by the University. The 
receptivity and humor of this Flemish crowd 
provided a refreshing break from the "sophis- 
tication" and "coolness" of the more know- 
ledgeable French-speaking audience of the 
night before in Liege. This interest is also 
manifest in the many video spaces and exhibi- 
tions being opened and organized by the 
young people of Flanders. However, produc- 
tion facilities and funding are limited. 

Since 1980 the Nieuwe Workshop in Brus- 
sels, under the direction of Frank Vranckx, 
has lead Flemish independent video explora- 
tion. Several projects, including video linked 
with performance, have been realized, but 
few are recorded on tape. Upon my recent 
visit, the fate of the Nieuwe Workshop 
seemed uncertain because the recession coup- 
led with (as usual) a conservative government 
make continued support hard to find. The 
Nieuwe Workshop, in low spirits and with 
union problems at the University (through 
whose hands the video equipment must pass), 
will perhaps not realize several of its projects 
in the coming year. 

During my trip I occasionally found 
galleries and museums open to screening 
video, and the presence of a foreign artist 
often helped catalyze local video enthusiasts, 
supplying them with a good excuse to demand 
more video progamming. The art dealer 
Michele Lachowsky took a risk by presenting 
my tapes at her gallery in Antwerp. Director 
Jan Hoet, along with the Videotto group, 
gambled on an evening show at the Museum 
van Hedendaagse Kunsten in Ghent, which 
sold out. As a result Hoet committed himself 
to buying the first video work acquired in the 
museum's recent history; and more impor- 
tantly, Videotto was in a position to push 
jointly (with Hoet) for more video presenta- 
tions at the museum. In the south, the Provin- 
ciaal Museum in Hasselt offers regular video 
screenings, even attracting children, who re- 
quested repeat shows on Saturdays. 

As in New York, questions of distribution 
and presentation seem crucial. Certainly the 
gallery is not an improper setting — simply an 
extremely limited one — and improper indeed 
if the only one! Clubs are serving as an interim 
solution. It was interesting to note that the 
young video generation in Belgium still 



primarily identifies itself with the arts, and the 
term "video art" is free from the unpleasant 
connotations attached to it in New York these 
days. It remains to be seen what other means 
of distribution Belgian artists will find, as 
VHS cassette sales begin to develop in neigh- 
boring Holland and West Germany. ■ 

Dara Birnbaum toured Belgium last No- 
vember. Most factual historical data was pro- 
vided by Chris Dercon, who writes a video art 
column for De Standaard. The artist also 
thanks Eric de Moffards of Videodoc ' for 
providing additional info. 



Belgian Address Book 

Michel Lussan 

Videodoc' 

rue Marche-aux-Peaux, 2a 

1000 Brussels 

(02)511.22.04 

Plan K 

Manchesterstr. 27 
1070 Brussels 
(02)523.18.34 

ICC 

Meir, 50 
2000 Antwerp 
031/31.91.81 

Michel Baudson 
Palais des Beaux-Arts 
rue Royale, 10 
1000 Brussels 
02/512.18.05 

Provinciaal Mseum 
Provinciaal Begijnhof 
Zuivelmarkt 33 
B-3500 Hasselt 

John Coopman 
Videotto 
Ottogracht 36 
9000 Ghent 

Mimmic Debruyn 

De Warande Cultureel Centrum 

Tumhout 

014-419494 

Galerie Michele Lachowsky 
Waalse Kaai 47 
Antwerp 
03-237-2393 

Laurent Busine, Curator 
Palais des Beaux-Arts 
Charleroi 
071-31-44-20 

Jean-Paul Trefois 
Videographie 
RTBF, Liege 
041-42-00-94 

BRT 

Reyers Cann 52 
1040 Brussels 
02/737-3111 



MAY • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PARIS WOMEN'S ARCHIVE 



KATHLEEN HULSER 

The Centre de l'Audiovisuelle Simone de § 
Beauvoir opened last June, squeezed into £ 
four floors of a Paris building as narrow as « 
the Center's title is long. The founders, ac- 1 
tress Delphine Seyrig and video documen- 
tarians Iona Weider and Carole Roussopou- 
los, started it as an archive and are now 
establishing card catalogues on film, video, 
audio and photographic works by women, as 
well as collecting cassettes. The collectively 
run Center is also involved in lightweight 
video production, which is expected to under- 
write some of its operating expenses, in 
accordance with the three funding Ministries' 
(Culture, Women's Rights and Solidarity) de- 
mand for eventual autofinancement. 

As in the States, French video activity as art 
and politics proliferated throughout the 
seventies. Weider and Roussopoulos, who 
worked with the women's media group Les 
Muses S'Amusent, realized that as media 
organizations came and went and formats 
changed, society was in danger of losing track 
of ten years of work in video or small-format 
film. 

Currently the Center offers only a small 
payment for copies deposited with it: FF 40 
(equal to about $6.50), certainly less than the 
cost of copying a tape. But since the top floor 
of 32 rue Maurice Ripoche is choked with new 
editing equipment, the organizers are offering 
valuable exchange time in the off-line suite, as 
well as co-production opportunities. Pro- 
ducers are encouraged to build up a time ac- 
count. The Tri-Standard equipment includes 
a 6-channel Sony MX-650, stereo mic mixer 
and two Sony U-matic VCRs. During the 
three days a week the downstairs gallery with 
monitors is open to the public, women often 
come in with tapes to show to each other. 

To encourage a broader diffusion of media 
skills among women, the Center hosts one- 
month residencies, for which there has been a 
large backlist ever since the doors opened. In 
addition, photos from women photographers 
are being collected, although this expanded 
function poses some problems for the 
Center's limited space and budget. When I 
was there in December, the photoarchivist 
Catherine Deudon was trying to devise a 
workable system for cataloguing slides. 

Pressure to self-finance combined with the 
Center's multiple aspirations are forcing it in- 
to an income-generating drive — and as a re- 
sult much time is now devoted to production 
and somewhat less to the original archiving 
concept. The Center's 1982 FF 900,000 
budget (about $130,000), will sink to FF 
700,000 in 1983, and by 1984 the Center must 
earn 40% of its own budget. Since archiving 
isn't remunerative, this implies a lot of hustle. 
Which is not to predict a commercial fate: as 
Iona Weider phrases it, "We are oriented to 
doing non-fiction projects with our light vid- 
eo equipment. While we fully intend to con- 
MAY 9 1983 




Houseful of tapes ai Paris Women s Archive. 

tinue with projects of social worth, we also 
hope to obtain some government commis- 
sions, for training tapes and so on." As an ex- 
ample she cited a tape about problems of 
women in prison. Aimed at social workers, 
officials, lawyers and the public, it would 
raise, among other issues, the troublesome 
question of the Normandy location of 
France's only women's prison — a site which 
puts it out of reach for one-day visits from 
much of the population. An example of socially 
committed Center video production I screened 
was Agricultrices (women farmers) de Cham- 
pagne, a lively and well-shot look at some of 



the doughty farmeresses of the wine region, 
and their efforts to penetate the traditionally 
all-male farmers' union. 

Judging from my visit, video distribution in 
France doesn't seem to be any better systema- 
tized or lucrative than here. "The only one I 
know of who has sold a work made in video to 
TV [that is, the government-run channels 
which are the only TV in France] is Godard," 
Weider wryly remarked. Since the Mitterrand 
government arrived (and embarked on the 
customary purge of network chiefs), FR3, the 
regional network, has vowed an "open-door" 
policy. But women at the Center were skep- 
tical and said they have yet to see any results. 
Apparently origination in 3 A " is nearly as un- 
popular there as here. 

Besides distributing its own productions or 
co-productions to non-TV outlets, the Center 
functions as an informal info network. Peo- 
ple call there to obtain centralized informa- 
tion on matters relating to women in the 
media, Weider explained. 

On the horizon are plans to internationalize 
both the Center's holdings and its orienta- 
tion. According to Weider, the staff is talking 
with UNESCO about cooperating with Third 
World film and videomakers, and aims to 
deal with foreign-language works by dubbing 
voice-overs on the second audio channel. Mean- 
while, visitors, Third World and other, are 
welcome at the Center — it's worth dropping by 
during a Paris stay. ■ 



WM-D6 SONY 

Sync Recorder 

Offered as the first viable alternative to 
the expensive Nagra SNN mini sync 
recorder, the Sony WM-D6 offers truly 
impressive audio specifications in a very 
small package. At almost half the price 
of the D5M it is also the lowest cost 
professional sync recorder available. 

FEATURES 

• Internal 60HZ Crystal 

• Dolby Noise Reduction 

• All Tape Formulations 

• Manual Recording Gain 

• Monitor Level Control 

• Vari-Speed Adjustment 

• Resolver Available 

• Cue & Review Function 

• Automatic Shut-Off 

• LED Vu Meter Readout 




SPECIFICATIONS: 
Frequency Response: 

40hzto 15Khz. 
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 

58dB. (Metal Tape) 
Harmonic Distortion: 

1.0% (Metal Tape) 
Wow & Flutter: 

0.04% (WRMS) 
Dimensions: 

7.25 x 1.62x3.75" 
Weight: 

1 lb. 7 oz. 

PRICE: $549.00 (Includes D6 w/internal 
crystal & resolver mod., case, headphones, AC 
adaptor, XLR-line-headphone patches. 
MINI AC RESOLVER: $299.00 
PIGGYBACK ADAPTOR: $149.00 

(203) 527-2972 EST 



The Film Group 

BOX 9 WETHERSFIELD, CT 06 1 09 



21 



THE INDEPENDENT 



iM 2E8? VIDEO 



3/4" Post Production 



$20 



HOUR 
WITH EDITOR 



JVC TAPE HANDLERS •HIGH- 
RESOLUTION CHARACTER GENERATOR 
(BORDERS, DROP SHADOW, ROLL, 
CRAWL, 16-pp MEMORY) »PROC AMP 

(FADES, COLOR CORRECTION) • 
GRAPHIC CAMERAS (KEYER) • LARGE 
EDITING SUITE* VILLAGE LOCATION 

Production 

IKEGAMI 730 

SONY PORTABLE 

t LIGHTS, MICS, ETC. 

*45 / HR. STUDIO (100 SQ. FT.) 

LOW-COST LOCATION PACKAGE 




UARK 
VIDEO 



212«533»2056 




Upper Voltage Among 
Pan-African Filmers 



MARK A. HUKILL 

"Cinema is before all a means of informa- 
tion, sensitization and culture, if not a 'raw 
material' of civilization," said Med Hondo, a 
filmmaker from Mauritania, in an interview 
at the February opening of the 8th Pan- 
African Film Festival (FESPACO) in 
Ouagadougou, Upper Volta, West Africa. 
FESPACO is perhaps the grandest reunion of 
African filmmakers and cinephiles in black 
Africa today. For nine days, the capital of one 
of the world's poorest nations is transformed 
into a cinemagoer's unabashed smorgasbord 
of "African" films. Beginning in 1969 with 
four countries participating and fifteen films, 
FESPACO has grown into one of the African 
continent's largest film gatherings, along with 
Les Journees Cinematographiques de Car- 
thage (Tunisia) and the Mogadishu Pan- 
African Film Symposium (Somalia). This 
year, 31 countries presented 52 films, down 
from the 1981 peak of 85 films. 

The festival aims to spotlight African films 
and to promote African film production, 
distribution and financing. FESPACO is also 
"the privileged occasion for Africans to clear 
their minds inundated with karate and porn- 
ographic fims," says Alamata Salabere, 
secretary-general of FESPACO, "and to 
sweep away apologies to a civilization that is 
not theirs; in brief, to become conscious of 
their proper existence." 

The competition is open only to African 
filmmakers; however, films from many na- 
tions, not necessarily of African subject mat- 
ter, are shown in exhibition. AIVF member 
Jim Rosellini showed three of his documen- 
tary shorts on aspects of Upper Volta culture. 
During eight years in Upper Volta, Rosellini 
produced Diro and His Talking Musical Bow, 
Dance of the Bella and Adama, The Fulani 
Magician. But FESPACO is first and 
foremost an African filmmakers' forum. 
Several pioneers in African cinema were pre- 
sent this year, including Ousmane Sembene 
(Senegal), Timite Bassouri (Ivory Coast), Ola 
Balagun (Nigeria) and Paulin Vieyra 
(Senegal), along with other names familiar to 
African cinema presenting new films: 
Souleymane Cisse (Mali) and Taieb Louhichi 
(Tunisia). 

MYS TIC A L & MILITA RY PO WERS 

Despite efforts by these and many other 
filmmakers, African cinema is today still in its 
early stages of development. Although overall 
quality has advanced in recent years, Africa in 
general has yet to master the medium of film 
as a means of expression for its own diverse 



and complex cultures. Still reflecting and im- 
itating the film style of developed nations, a 
proper identity for African film has yet to be 
attained. Nonetheless, the evolution of Afri- 
can cinema is clear. The improved technical, 
aesthetic and conceptual quality of many 
films seen at this year's FESPACO is 
undeniable. Finye (The Wind), directed by 




22 



Mute hero of Wend Kuuni, which was shown in Ouaga- 
dougou & at the 1983 NY New Directors. 

Souleymane Cisse, contains extraordinary 
scenes of intimate human interaction within 
the Malien cultural milieu. The film is about a 
student rebellion and a repressive military 
regime's crackdown, with emphasis placed on 
traditional Malien values. (Cisse is no 
stranger to his subject; indeed, he was jailed 
in the mid-'70s for a student strike action 
against the Malien military regime.) 

In a scene which may eventually become an 
African cinema classic, the father of Ba, a 
striking student, implores his god to force the 
military governor to release his son. Standing 
before a huge baobab tree in the steamy 
Sahelien plain, swishing a feather hand staff 
in the air, he begs protection for his son. The 
god responds by saying that even its great 
power wanes in these new times. At that mo- 
ment, a large white ram representing the sac- 
rifice appears and walks towards Ba's father. 
But instead of remaining between him and the 
statuette representation of the god at the base 
of the tree, the animal walks past both and 
out of sight — the tradition, the mystical 
powers, the cherished values passing with it. 
Later, although Ba's father is unhurt by a 
bullet fired at point-blank range, he burns his 
"protective" clothing because his god's 
power was enough to protect him but not his 
son. This highly charged emotional sequence 
of uniquely African expression may have 
been enough in itself to persuade the jury to 

MAY • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



award Finye the grand prize for a full-length 
feature and one million cfa francs (approx- 
imately $3,000). 

Wend Kuuni(The Gift of God), directed by 
Gaston Kabore of Upper Volta, which won 
the award for best cinematography, and 
L 'Ombre de la Terre {Shadow of the Earth), 
directed by Taieb Louhichi of Tunisia, which 
won awards for best script and editing, both 
mark an increase in sophistication of African 
filmmakers' treatment of subjects within their 
own cultures and integrity of expression of 
concepts and messages through the film 
medium. 

DISTRIBUTION 

During the festival, a seminar sponsored by 
UNESCO addressed the subject of "African 
Film and its Public." Although the discussion 
leaned specifically toward problems of fin- 
ancing and distribution of African films, 
questions of who or what is the African au- 
dience were integrated so as to approach more 
applicable solutions to production problems. 
The particularities of these problems are not 
necessarily uniquely African. However, the 
fact that nearly all cinema structures and or- 
ganizations in Africa today are tied directly to 
governments has created a massive dependen- 
cy on very limited state funds. Propositions 
for increased support by African govern- 
ments as well as exploitation of private finan- 
cial resources within the context of African 
realities were explored during the seminar. 

As of now, only one interstate film dis- 
tribution agency controlled by Africans exists 
in Africa today. The CIDC (Consortium for 
Interstate Distribution of Cinema) has four- 
teen member countries and distributes to 
nearly 150 theaters. Unfortunately, the 
meager number of African productions forces 
CIDC to import nearly 90% of the films it 
distributes: mainly American or European 
B-movies and karate or "production-line" 
films from India. CIDC is still in its infancy, 
which only adds to the frustration of many 
African filmmakers trying to get their films 
distributed to a vast African market still col- 
onized by low-grade foreign films. But blame 
cannot be entirely pinned on the so-called im- 
perialist foreign distributors. South African 
Lionel N'Gankane (African National Con- 
gress-ANC) pointed out during the seminar: 
"We Africans must also fault ourselves for 
not looking at many of the possibilities and 
avenues that could be open to us for financing 
and distributing our films." 

The private sector as a source of financial 
support to African cinema remains virtually 
untouched. As a viable business, it still re- 
mains to to be shown to possible investors 
that African film production is a reasonable 
investment risk. Given the sociopolitical 
realities of overwhelming state domination in 
all sectors of commerce and industry in many 
African countries, filmmakers must look to 
governments for major financial support. 
"There can't be a viable cinema without the 
MAV1983 



intervention of the African states," concludes 
Med Hondo, "to organize, support and 
regulate, and also to initiate and protect in- 
vestments." The director of CIDC/Upper 
Volta responded that such state structures as 
CIDC distribution cannot be the only means 
of support for African cinema, although 
more political pressure could help the state- 
controlled distribution agency to function 
more efficiently. Indeed, filmmakers are tur- 
ning more and more to a wider range of finan- 
cing possibilities, such as interstate co- 
productions and financing through the televi- 
sion services of various nations. For example, 
three of the four feature-length films 
presented by Niger at this year's FESPACO 
were co-produced at least in part by Niger's 
national television service, Tele-Sahel 
(ORTN). 

FINANCING 

In the French-speaking countries of Africa, 
another form of film production financing is 
available. The Agency for Cultural and 
Technical Cooperation (ACCT) within the 
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is looked 
to by many filmmakers as a major source of 
financial backing. ACCT usually gives film- 
makers grants destined to cover technical 
costs, such as lab fees. Usually post- 
production including editing then takes place 



in France under the control of French techni- 
cians. Afterwards, ACCT retains non-com- 
mercial rights to the films it helps finance. 
Since Francois Mitterand's Socialist govern- 
ment came to office, the amount of money 
available for film financing through the 
ACCT has doubled. 

Critics of this kind of backing claim that in 
the long term this manner of financing only 
increases dependency on a sort of foreign aid 
that does nothing to help develop African 
resources. "If tomorrow the funding is cut 
off," reasons Moussa Bathily of Senegal, "a 
major portion of African productions will 
simply cease to exist. We must therefore seek 
other solutions which help build structures to 
make African cinema a self-reliant and com- 
mercially viable means of expression for 
Africans." 

From a rich oral-tradition heritage to the 
evolution of a sophisticated written literature, 
Africa is now struggling to develop an impor- 
tant means of expression and communication 
through film. Hopefully FESPACO 1985 will 
be able to reflect even more concrete ac- 
complishments in the development of African 
cinema. ■ 

Mark A. Hukill is a technical advisor for 
Lutheran World Relief, and an on-the-job 
trainer for the Ministry of Information and 
the national TV service of Niger in Niamey. 



SCENES FROM HA VAN A 



ROBERTO GAUTIER 

The Fourth International Festival of New 
Latin American Cinema (December 3- 12, 
1982) in Havana was a whirlwind meeting for 
348 cineastes from 35 countries, with 238 
films screened in nine days. Starting with ac- 
commodations at the Hotel Nacional, an 
elegant classic from the 1920s on Havana's 
Atlantic coast, ICAIC (the Cuban Film In- 
stitute) sponsored a comprehensive event 
featuring documentaries, feature-length fic- 
tion, animation, video, Super-8 and a film 
market for distributors. Generally, the 
festival was organized well. Screenings went 
from 10 am to midnight daily. Pounds of 
detailed notices, schedules and seminar 
transcripts were provided to festival 
delegates. 

The festival focused on political and hu- 
man interest issues. The presentation of poli- 
tical problems by Latin American filmmakers 
was a lesson in sophistication for the North 
Americans, whose political points of view are 
generally less well-developed. In theory, if not 
in actuality, the Latin American artists wished 
to merge art and ideology for the purpose of 
facilitating social change. 

Although Cuban films predominated at the 
festival, the first prize in the full-length fiction 
category went to Tiempo de Rancha ( Time of 
Revenge) by Argentina's Adolfo Aristarain. 
La Boda {The Wedding) by Thaelman 
Urgelles of Venezuela received second prize, 



and third prize went to Polvo Rojo {Red 
Dust) by Jesus Diaz of Cuba. In the documen- 
tary group, Carta de Morazan (Letter from 
Morazan, El Salvador) and Ciertas Palabras 
con Chico Buarque (A Few Words with Chico 
Buarque, Brazil) shared first prize. Cuba got 
the second prize, and AIVF member Ana 
Maria Garcia's La Operacion {The Opera- 
tion, Puerto Rico) came in third. 

All screenings at the spacious and comfor- 
table Cinemateca were well-attended, but all 
the enthusiasm in the hemisphere cannot 
make up for the economic conditions in Latin 
America. Since feature-length films are too 
expensive, the documentary was king at 
Havana's festival. Despite lagging film tech- 
nology and thin production budgets, the spirit 
shows itself in the short film. The Revolution 
under ICAIC has not erased poetry, though 
Cuban cinema is very often "official" verse. 

Cuban documentarians are well-respected 
by their Latin American companeros ("com- 
rades"). Technically, the Cuban films were 
well-done, and so were most of the Argentine 
and Venezuelan films. However, many del- 
egates noted a didactic, propagandistic ele- 
ment in the Cuban films: Cubans at work and 
play were usually depicted showing popular 
support for the Revolution in political and 
cultural life. The documentary format was 
also used for the purposes of political educa- 
tion, general information and entertainment. 

23 



PRINCIPLES A RESOLUTIONS 
OF THE ASSOCIATION 



AIVF FOUNDING PRINCIPLES 

1. The Association is a service organi- 
zation of and for independent video and 
filmmakers. 

2. The Association encourages excel- 
lence, commitment and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and 
filmmaking is more than just a job — it 
goes beynd economics to involve the ex- 
pression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through com- 
bined effort of membership, to provide 
practical, informational and moral sup- 
port for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to ensuring the 
survival and providing support for the 
continuing growth of independent video 
and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its sup- 
port to one genre, ideology or aesthetic, 
but furthers diversity of vision in artistic 
and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions indepen- 
dent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is deter- 
mined, by mutual action, to open path- 
ways toward exhibition of this work to 
the community at large. 



AIVF RESOL UTIONS 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in 
fostering cooperation, community & 
justice in human relationships without 
respect to age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the 
freedom of expression of the indepen- 
dent film and videomaker, as spelled out 
in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and 
heightened awareness among the mem- 
bership of the social, artistic and per- 
sonal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, 
via such mechanisms as screenings and 
forums. 

5. To continue to work to strengthen 
AIVF's services to independents, in 
order to help reduce the membership's 
dependence on the kind of sponsorship 
which encourage the compromise of per- 
sonal values. 




Mexican animator Jose Luis Agraz (r.) at the Plaza de ia 
Revolucion, Havana. 

ICAIC used many techniques to argue these 
themes. Fast-paced editing, superior musical 
scores, well-planned interviews, close-ups of 
Cubans in all occupations, clips of Fidelistas 
fighting Batista, flashbacks, blank screens, 
eccentric camera work and excellent color 
quality were all to be found. 

Interviews with Cuba's Santiago Alvarez, 
Jesus Diaz and Pedro Chaskel emphasized the 
need for international cultural exchanges. 
The concern for technically well-crafted films 
with a high level of political awareness was a 
common thread among all filmmakers. 

Politics was everywhere in Havana and at 
the festival. Cuban film officials organized a 
grand festival and took every opportunity to 
assert Cuba's role as star of the Revolution in 
the hemisphere. In turn, the visiting cineastes 
came as friends of Cuba, whose role as a poli- 
tical and cultural leader in Latin America is 
being tested by global economic strain and 
pressures from the Reagan administration. 
During the festival, Reagan was actually in 
Brazil, expressing delight at being in Bolivia. 
He was placing the blame for the region's ills 
on Fidel Castro, and this hostile stance 



toward Cuba became a backdrop for the 
festival. 

While US funding for the arts disappears, 
Castro continues to support Cuba's artists. 
The reception hosted by Castro for the film 
festival people, a first, was politically very im- 
portant for the Cuban Film Institute. Before 
the surprise invitations came, no one in the 
partisan crowd had expected to meet Castro, 
or to be given a party at the Palacio de la 
Revolucion (the Department of Justice under 
Batista). 

Perhaps the most stimulating part of the 
festival was talking and living with people 
from all over Latin America for nine days. 
One could sit with Mexicans, Peruvians and 
Brazilians for breakfast, then lunch with 
Argentines. Kiril Razlogov, advisor to the 
Soviet State Film Corporation, came around 
to chat. Discussions touched on didacticism 
in socialist art, the cult of personality in 
Cuba, money problems for filmmakers, revo- 
lutionary fervor in Latin America and 
distribution problems (sound familiar?). Of 
course, everything was much easier if you 
could speak Spanish, but cinema remains an 
international language. — Roberto Gautier 

[A committee was formed at the Havana 
festival to organize a retrospective of North 
American independent films, accompanied 
by a delegation of North American film- 
makers. The committee includes AIVF mem- 
bers Barbara Margolis, Ana Maria Garcia 
and Jane Morrison. We will report on their 
progress in future issues — Ed.) 

Roberto Gautier is a freelance journalist 
specializing in political and cultural subjects. 



AIVF MINUTES 

The AIVF and FIVF Boards of Direc- 
tors met on March 7, 1983. A summary of 
the minutes follows. Full minutes are 
available on request. 

REPORTS 

• UNESCO Project— UNESCO is con- 
tracting with FIVF io develop a screening 
and discussion series of non-US film for 
telecast from New York City. UNESCO is 
making a preliminary grant for a feasibility 
study. 

• Festival Bureau reported increased ac- 
tivity and opportunities. Several fests have 
invited FIVF to attend. 

• Cable Access — AIVF has filed court 
papers to intervene in the "Comax" case, a 
challenge of New York State's public ac- 
cess requirements by 2 upstate cable com- 
panies. For AIVF, public access represents 
a valuable outlet for some independent 
work and protects First Amendment 
values in open communications. 

• Membership Benefits — AIVF has ar- 
ranged for a group equipment insurance 
plan and for National car rental discounts 
for A IVF members. 



NEW BUSINESS 

• The Board voted unanimously not to co- 
sponsor events or activities with the US 
Information Agency due to the agency's 
identity as a propaganda arm. USIA has 
approached FIVF to host a roundtable 
with foreign filmmakers. 

9 AIVF Board resolved to file comments 
with the FCC opposing repeal of the Net- 
work Financial Interest and Syndication 
Rules. The rules have fostered the growth 
of independent stations and production 
entitities and diversified the marketplace. 

• The AIVF Board resolved to hold a 
Board/staff retreat in early June to assess 
AIVF's programmatic direction and 
future. 

AIVF and FIVF Board meetings are 
generally held at 7:30 on the first Monday 
of every other month. The next meeting is 
May 2. Meetings are open to the public. 
AIVF members are encouraged to attend 
and share their views with the Board. For 
more information, call AIVF at (212) 
473-3400. ■ 



24 



MAY • 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FESTIVALS 



Deauville: The Good, 
The Bad and the Wealthy 



GRAFTON NUNES 

Independents run the risk of being com- 
pletely smothered by Stardust in Deauville, a 
festival designed primarily to premiere Holly- 
wood productions in France. But invitations 
to independents appear to be on the rise, and 
afoot in this door is nothing to be sneezed at. 
Armed with the tactical information provided 
below by reporter Grafton Nunes, even a 
novice should be able to negotiate the rocky 
waters of this glitzy event. — W.L. 

The Deauville Festival of American „ 
Cinema shows exclusively American feature! 
films, an orientation that has aroused | 
political controversy and charges of cultural £ 
imperialism from Jack Lang, the French jg 
Socialist government's Minister of Culture. | 
The main emphasis is on French premieres of ° 
Hollywood movies; in 1981 they presented All 
Night Long, Cutter's Way, The Four 
Seasons, Inside Moves, Outland and Raiders 
of the Lost Ark. 1982 spotlit E. T., Cat Peo- 
ple, Poltergeist, Diner, An Officer and a 
Gentleman, Victor/Victoria and Blade Run- 
ner. Most of the films were represented by 
stars, directors and studio executives who use 
the festival as a business vacation. The stellar 
collection attracts many European celebrities, 
hordes of photographers, journalists and 
fans, producing an atmosphere more of an in- 
ternational publicity event than a serious 
celebration of American cinema. 

Independent films are presented partly out 
of a philosophical dedication to represent the 
whole American film scene and partly out of a 
necessity to fill two theatres with films for 
nine days. The term "independent" as used at 
Deauville refers to any film not produced by a 
major studio. Such films as The Beastmaster, 
The Chosen, Eating Raoul and The Legend of 
the Lone Ranger, although picked up by ma- 
jors for distribution, were presented as in- 
dependents. Other entries in this category 
were network TV movies seeking European 
distribution. A majority of the other "in- 
dependent" films were presented by smaller 
but established production/distribution en- 
tities such as Viacom, Manson International, 
Lorimar, Comworld, Hemdale, Carolco, 
New Line and PBS/WNET. These companies 
generally hired production representatives 
who, through connections with the press and 
festival staff, can arrange the best exposure 
(newspaper, TV and radio interviews and 
reviews) for their films. 

If you are an independent without a pro- 
MAV1983 



duction representative you must promote 
yourself and your film. The director of the 
press office is only interested in major studio 
films and celebrities; he will barely 
acknowledge that you exist. His staff consists 
of bilingual young people who make up in en- 
thusiasm what they lack in expertise. They try 
very hard to be helpful, providing, upon re- 
quest, lists of journalists, media organiza- 
tions and distributors in attendance, complete 
with hotel and room numbers. This enables 




Ed Stabile & Tia Stack's Plainsong showed at Deauville. 

you to target the people you want to see your 
film and to get your promotional material to 
them. The press office will set up interviews, 
but you will often have to suggest whom they 
should approach; you cannot assume that 
they will initiate the process. 

Another big difficulty for independents at 
Deauville is the poor quality of the 1 6mm pro- 
jection. There are two screening facilities in 
the Deauville Casino, the center of festival ac- 
tivity. The main theatre, which shows 35mm 
exclusively, has excellent projection and 
sound, good sightlines and comfortable seats. 
But I6mm films are shown in a neo-Baroque 
opera house, where portable projectors throw 
the image onto a postage stamp-sized screen. 
The sound is swallowed up in an enormous 
domed ceiling, and the seats were designed for 
masochists. Needless to say, the modern 
theatre attracts better attendance than the 
opera house. 

Language is also an important success fac- 



tor. If your film isn't dubbed or subtitled, the 
French audience will either not attend or walk 
out. In 1981, The Return of the Secaucus 
Seven played the festival after receiving ex- 
cellent advance word from the American 
press. The festival program designated the 
film "V.O." (version originate) without sub- 
titles. It played the opera house and drew less 
than a dozen people, some of whom were 
Americans who walked out because the sound 
system was so bad they couldn't understand 
their own language. In 1982, similar fates 
befell Michael Oblowitz' King Blank, Ed 
Stabile's Plainsong and Bill Farley's Citizen. 
Christian Blackwood's All by Myself fared 
better in the opera house — not only because it 
was subtitled, but also because the documen- 
tary's subject, Eartha Kitt, made a personal 
appearance. 

A major benefit of Deauville is its 
manageability. Most of the activity occurs in 
two hotels, the casino in between and the 
beach out front. There are seldom more than 
two events taking place at the same time. This 
concentration makes it easy to meet fellow 
Americans, be they directors, actors, jour- 
nalists or critics. 

Deauville is not a buyer's market. Repre- 
sentatives from distribution companies are in- 
terested in publicizing the films they have 
brought, not acquiring new films. They can 
more often be found around the pool than in 
the theatres. One representative of a major 
studio recently bragged that she managed to 
get in lots of tennis and not attend a single 
movie! 

There are cases, however, where the festival 
has helped filmmakers make sales. Imme- 
diately after the first screening of Purple 
Haze, David Morris received a substantial of- 
fer for British rights. This allowed him to pay 
off the copyrights for his extensive use of 
1960s music. King Blank's appearance at 
Deauville helped Michael Oblowitz sell TV 
rights to Britain's Channel 4. Larry Schiller 
closed a deal for French theatrical rights to his 
two-hour version of The Executioner's Song 
the day after it screened. 

Many independent films from Deauville are 
shown the week after the festival at the Cine 
matheque Francaise in Paris. French critics 
and distributors who might not attend the 
festival because of the Hollywood orientation 
can be persuaded to see an independent film 
sometimes at the Cinematheque. To make this 
work, one must again target the people who 
should see the film and get the word out. 

Filmmakers accepted by the festival have to 
get themselves and their films to Deauville. 
Once there, the festival provides a room and 
breakfast at one of three luxury hotels. The 
Royale and the Normandy are preferable, 
since they are next to the casino. The Hotel du 
Golf is four miles out of town and is a viable 
option only if you can rent a car or afford the 
expense of cabs. Every day offers at least one 
invitational luncheon or dinner, which cuts 
down on eating expenses. There are 
restaurants along the Rue Eugene Colas (such 

25 



THE INDEPENDENT 



as Chez Miocaue) which serve good food at 
reasonable prices. 

The Deauville Festival offers the indepen- 
dent filmmaker an opportunity to learn some 
valuable lessons about the international film 
festival game, meet interesting people not 
otherwise approachable and stay ten days in 
an elegant hotel in a storybook town on a 
beautiful coast (a giddy experience that can 
reveal to you all your class confusions). If you 
are interested only in selling your film, don't 
go to Deauville. If you make films partly 
because of the experiences the lifestyle can 
provide, Deauville will certainly not disap- 
point you. ■ 

Grafton Nunes has attended the Deauville 
Festival twice: first as producer of The 
Loveless and then as a journalist for 
Millimeter magazine. He works in the Theatre 
Department of Columbia University. 



try fees: $55 to $90. Enter by June 13. Contact: 
Reed Larson, INTERCOM, 415 North Dearborn 
St., Chicago IL 60610; (312) 644-3400. 

• MARIN COUNTY NATIONAL FILM COM- 
PETITION, June 30-July 4, now in its 13th year, 
seeks to give independent filmmakers opportunity 
to show films publicly. Takes place at family- 
oriented Marin County Fair, so organizers may 
eliminate films considered unsuitable for children. 



Judges view films in their entirety; festival pays 
return postage. Enter films under 20 min. by June. 
Contact: Abrao Berman, Grife-Acao S-8 Center of 
Cinema Studies, Rua Estados Unidos 2240, 01427 
Sao Paulo-SP, Brazil; tel: 852-1704. 

• 23rd CA R TA GEN A INTERNA TIONA L FILM 
FESTIVAL*, June 7-13, brings together the most 
important films of the Ibero-Latinoamericano 
area, presents best of recent Colombian production 



IN BRIEF 



The month 's additional Festivals have been com- 
piled by Melody Pariser and Wendy Lidell with the 
help of Gadney's Guides and the FIVF files. 
Listings do not constitute an endorsement, and since 
some details change faster than we do, we recom- 
mend that you contact the festival for further infor- 
mation before sending prints or tapes. If your ex- 
perience with a festival differs from our account, 
please let us know so that we can improve our 
reliability. 

Domestic 

• CINDY COMPETITION, sponsored by Infor- 
mation Film Producers of America (IFPA), 
presents its awards Nov. 19. They accept documen- 
tary, educational, industrial & business films, & are 
more interested in presentation of info than in 
entertainment. Gold, Silver & Bronze Cindy pla- 
ques awarded in 16 categories, as well as special 
awards such as last year's silver anniversary com- 
petition. They accept 16mm films, Vi "videotapes, 
35mm filmstrips or slide-films, audio productions 
& multi-image shows. Entry fees: $25/students, 
$65/IFPA members, $85/non-members. Entry 
deadline: June 15. Contact: Wayne Weiss, 750 East 
Colorado Blvd., Ste. 6, Pasadena CA 91 101; (213) 
795-7866. 

• INTERNATIONAL REHABILITATION 
FILM FESTIVAL, Nov. 15-18, stands alone 
among its peers in size and scope, presenting the 
largest group of rehabilitation & physical disability 
films to an estimated audience of 700 per evening. 
Awards given in 14 categories for films that raise 
general public's awareness & increase rehabilitation 
professionals' knowledge. Last year's Grand Prize 
winner, Dystonia, was produced by UCLA 
Neuropsychiatric Institute. Films in 16mm, Va " 
videotapes & 35mm filmstrips or slide-tapes are ac- 
ceptable. Entry fee: $15-$75 depending on length; 
sponsor pays return postage. Deadline: Sept. Con- 
tact: Holly Starkman or Tim Moses, 
1123 Broadway, New York NY 10010; (212) 
741-5160. 

• INTERCOM, Sept. 12-14. This 19th annual in- 
dustrial film festival accepts films in 16, 35 and 
70mm, & videotape in Vi " or VHS. They award 
Gold, Silver & Bronze Hugos in 58 categories. En- 

26 




Ron Vawter & Rosemary Hochschild appearing in Michael Oblowitz' King Blank, which was picked up by Britain's Ch. 
4 after being seen at Edinburgh. 

Independent & animated 1 6mm films under 30 min. 
welcome. Winners share $700. Entry fee: $10; fair 
pays return postage. Deadline: June 1. Contact: 
Yolanda F. Sullivan, Marin County Fair & Exposi- 
tion, Fairgrounds, San Rafael CA 94903; (415) 
499-6400. 



• PACIFIC RIM WOODEN BOAT FILM FES- 
TIVAL, July 1-3, encourages filmmaking on use, 
history & construction of wooden boats. $15 entry 
fee is used for return postage; remainder goes 
toward cash prizes for 3 best films. 16mm only. 
Deadline: June 24. Contact: Marty Langeland, 
2770 Westlake Ave. North, Seattle WA 98109; (206) 
283-9166. 

• PUBLIC RELATIONS FILM /VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, November, sponsored by Public Relations 
Society of America, honors best film & video pro- 
duced for public relations purposes by companies & 
organizations. Enter only sponsored 16mm films or 
3 A " videocassettes in one of 8 categories. Fee: 
PRSA members/$125, non-members/$150. Entry 
deadline: June 30. Do not send films until directed 
by PRSA. Contact: PRSA, 845 Third Ave., New 
York NY 10022; (212) 826-1750. 

• ERRATUM: The Jan/Feb Independent er- 
roneously stated the dates of the National Video 
Festival/Student Competition. Correct dates are: 
entry forms — May 1; tape submission — June 15; 
festival— Sept. 22-25. ■ 

Foreign 

• BRAZIL SUPERS FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 
1-6, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 1983, 
although it has only accepted international entries 
since last year. Toni Treadway, The Independent's 
Super-8 editor, said last year's was well organized & 
that "the Brazilians are producing some beautiful 
& complex narrative S-8 films." Winning films in 
10 categories tour Brazil for 6 months after festival. 



& shows outstanding films from all over the world. 
Statues awarded for Ibero-Latinoamericano 
features, Colombian short subjects & international 
features. Deadline was Apr. 18, but immediate cor- 
respondence via Telex or telegram might gain entry, 
since prints are accepted until May 23. Contact: 
Festival Internacional de Cine, Apartado Aereo 
1834, Cartagena, Colombia; tel: 42-345; cable: 
Festivalcine. 

• EDINBURGH INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 
21-Sept. 3, continues a favorite among American 
independents, showcasing everything from Holly- 
wood features to animated shorts, including 
documentaries & narratives of any length. Parti- 
cularly receptive to American independents, a good 
place to be picked up by other festivals like London 
& Berlin. Festival takes place amidst a citywide arts 
festival celebrating music, drama, theater etc. 
Director Jim Hickey estimates audience for two 
weeks of film screenings at approximately 20,000, 
while the arts festival draws over 100,000. Festival 
can pay only a portion of the filmmaker's airfare, & 
three nights' accommodations. FIVF will send a 
group shipment of films (& films on videotape) in 
late May. For details send SASE to: FIVF/Edin- 
burgh, 625 Broadway, New York NY 10012. If you 
entered the Atlanta Film Festival in March, Hickey 
will have already seen your film, & you need only 
write & ask him if he wants it for Edinburgh. Con- 
tact: Jim Hickey, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Rd., 
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ, Scotland; tel: 44-31-228- 
6382. 

• OVIEDO INTERNATIONAL VIDEOFILM 
FESTIVAL, July 16-23, celebrates promotion & 
diffusion in Spain of general culture through 
video/film system, believing it a sure way to get in- 
to social & cultural paradigm of our time. Cash 
awards. Festival is divided into 4 competitions: 
video by professionals; video by amateurs; en- 
vironmentalist video up to 45 min. ; & film recorded 
on video in adventure, drama or thriller genres. 

MAY •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Deadline: May 31. Entry forms, plus 10 copies of 
plot synopsis, credits, poster & 3 photos required. 
Participant pays all postage, & must send advance 
telegram to inform committee film will be arriving. 
Contact: Festival Internacional de VideoCine de 
Oviedo, Calle Nueve De Mayo, 2-1 °A, Oviedo-1, 
Spain; tel: (985)22.10.96/97. 

• SALERNO INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEO- 
PLE, July-August. Established 12 years ago, spon- 
sored by the Ministry of Tourism & recognized by 
UNICEF & UNESCO. Aim: to deal w/youth- and 
childhood-oriented themes; also to give young peo- 
ple chance to show work they have produced 
themselves. Categories: story, animation, 
teaching-information, documentary & problems of 
childhood. Medals, certificates, sponsored prizes 
awarded to films selected by juries of children & 
youth. No entry fee; entrant pays all postage. 
Deadline: June. Contact: Claudio Gubitosi, Ar- 
tistic Director, 84095 Giffone Valle Piana, Salerno, 
Italy; tel: (089) 224322. 

• TORONTO SUPERS FILM FESTIVAL, usual- 
ly held in June, will not be taking place this year due 
to what Director Sheila Hill called "very serious 
financial cutbacks. " She has proposed to conduct a 
small Super-8 program as part of the large & well- 
funded Toronto Festival of Festivals in September, 
& is presently awaiting their reponse. Says Hill, 
"We have gained a reputation, and if we can't do it 
properly, we won't do it." 

• TRIESTE INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FIC- 
TION FILM FESTIVAL, July, now in its 2nd 
decade, seeks to confirm how margin between fan- 
tasy. & reality has become closer in overwhelming 
rush of technological progress. Entries in 16, 35, & 
70mm accepted in both short & feature lengths. 
Scientific & documentary films are sought as well as 
science fiction. Entries must be recently produced, 
still unreleased in Italy, & not entered in other com- 
petitive events. Impressive catalogue available. 
Awards given. No entry fee. Deadline: June. Con- 
tact: Flavia Paulou, Calle Avogaria 1633, 30123 
Venice, Italy; tel: (040) 750.002, 795.863. 

mVARNA WORLD ANIMATION FILM 
FESTIVAL, Oct., one of the wealthiest interna- 
tional animation festivals both in subsidy & public 
attendance, has as motto "Humanism, Movement, 
Beauty." Entries must be in 16 or 35mm, not ex- 
ceeding 100 min., made since Oct. 1981, & should 
not have received awards at other international 
European film fests. All types of animated films ac- 
ceptable in these categories: less than 5 min.; 5-15 
min.; 15-100 min.; children's film (not part of 
serial); film specially produced for TV or part of a 
TV serial; & film debut. No entry fee, prizes award- 
ed in all categories. Deadline: July. Contact: Hristo 
Tsachev, Director, 96 Rakovsky St., 1000 Sofia, 
Bulgaria; tel: 876611; 595061. 

• VENICE BIENNIAL,* early Sept. Over 100 
filmmakers, 1,400 press & media reps & nightly 
crowds of 1,000s attend Venice, which ranks with 
Cannes & Berlin as one of Europe's major fests. 
Last year's Golden Lion for best film went to Wim 
Wenders' The State of Things, & American com- 
petition entries were Tempest by Paul Mazursky 
and A Midsummer Night 's Sex Comedy by Woody 
Allen. Numerous complaints were made last year 
about poor organization, which may make doing 
business even more difficult for an independent 
without money and contacts. 

MAY • 1983 



Besides the main competition, information sec- 
tions and retrospectives — all for features on- 
ly — there is the innovative Mediodia/Medianoche 
Series programmed by Enzo Ungari (who also pro- 
grams for the Turin Film Festival). Films described 
by Ungari as "too difficult for the festival au- 
dience," such as those by Jean-Marie Straub, 
Chantal Ackerman and Raul Ruiz, show at noon, 
and films "too easy for the festival audience," like 
those by Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg and 
Michael Cimino, run at midnight. The latter seem 
to generate tremendous interest in spite of any im- 
plied stigma: last year, E. T packed the house. Con- 
tacts: Carlo Lizzani, Director, Settore Cinema- 
Spettacolo-TV, San Marco, Ca' Giustinian, 30100 
Venezia, Italy; tel: 700.31 1; Telex: 41685; or Enzo 
Ungari, Via Giovanni Miani, 40, Roma, Italy; tel: 
578.19.30 

• SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM 



festival, Sept. 15-24. Approximately 40,000 are ex- 
pected to attend this event, long one of Europe's 
major fests & definitely the largest in Spain. Local 
trouble with Basque separatists has plagued the 
festival in recent years, but reports on the 1982 
event say that they have managed to bounce back 
admirably. Feature films programmed in the main 
section are largely Hollywood fare. They also pro- 
gram shorts under 35 minutes, independent, 
marginal, underground & new directors' films. 
Last year a video program was inaugurated, with 
tapes selected by The Kitchen & Electronic Arts 
Intermix among others. Enter by June. Contact: 
Pilar Olascoaga, SSIFF, Reina Regente s-n, PO 
Box 397, San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa, Spain; tel: 
43-424-106/108. ■ 

*Festivals marked by an asterisk qualify your 
film for the Academy Awards. 



AIVF NOTICES 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF 
members receive first priority; others in- 
cluded as space permits. Send notices to 
THE INDEPENDENT c/o FIVF, 625 Broad- 



way, 9th Floor, New York NY 10012. For fur- 
ther info, call (212) 473-3400. Deadline: 8th 
of second preceding month (e.g. May 8 for 
July/August). Edited by Mary Guzzy. 



Buy •Rent •Sell 

• FOR SALE: 1 CP-16 non-reflex camera 
w/Angenieux 12-120 zoom, AV30 short finder; 2 
Mitchell 400 ' magazines; 1 battery, 1 AC power 
supply & charger location case; 1 NCE tripod w/ 
wooden legs, case, spreaders: $3000. 2 Lowel D 
lights w/KS stands: $150/ea. 3 FEL bulbs, new: 
$15 each. 1 Nagra III w/switchable crystal, 50/60 
Hz, leather case, ATN, 2 Sony ECM 30 lavaliers: 
$2000. 1 Maier-Hancock 816 hot splicer, mint: 
$150. 1 pr. Moviola rewinds, mint: $60. 1 Luna Pro 
SBC meter, mint: $75. Call: Bruce, (212) 924-5922, 
974-1960, NY. 

• FOR SALE: 16mm production, Marc 300 pro- 
jection equipment. Excellent condition, excellent 
prices. List including prices available. Contact: B. 
Willis, 380 Riverside Dr., NY NY 10025. 

• FOR SALE: 72"x72" retractable hanging! 
screen, no legs: $120. 2 Vi 'x6!/2 ' table for editing; | 
$30. Remington manual portable typewriter: $25. I 
Call: (212) 757-0499, NY. t 

• FOR RENT: Complete broadcast-quality pro- § 
duction package includes Ikegami HL-83, Vi " JVC 
4700U, color Videotek monitor, wave-form, mics, 
lights & tripod. Production personnel also 
available. Competitive rates. Contact: Everglade 
Prod., (212) 925-1247, NY. 

• FOR RENT: Panasonic 3990 low-light camera, 
Sony VO-4800, 4 BP-60 batteries, 5" monitor 
w/battery, fluid-head tripod, Sennheiser mic, lav, 
Smith Victor lights, cords & accesories; very por- 
table. $225/day w/operator. Contact Alan or 
Caryn, (212)222-3321, NY. 

• FOR SALE: 16mm 6-plate flatbed, like new: 
$4000. Uher report 4000L: $500. Call: (608) 
256-4934, WI. 

• FOR SALE: 16mm RTI/Harwald film inspec- 
tion machine; carefully maintained, good condi- 
tion. Call: (212) 505-1990, NY. 



• 16MM FREZZI CONVERSION, excellent con- 
dition. 12-120 Angenieux, single- or double-system 
auto-blimped mic, amp, cables, 2 nicad batteries, 3 
400' mags, accessories, case, filters, shade etc.: 
$3500. Call: (212) 431-8616, NY. 

• FOR RENT: Ikegami HL-79, BVU-110, lights, 
mics, car: $450/day. Crew additional as required. 
Contact: Videotrac, (212) 473-6947, NY. 

• PROFESSIONAL VIDEO REPAIR, 
MAINTENANCE of broadcast & industrial 
cameras, decks, monitors, calibration of wave- 
forms etc. We buy & sell used equipment. Contact: 
Videotrac, (212) 473-6947, NY. 

• FOR SALE: ENG unit. Sony BVP-300 camera, 
3-tube plumbicon, Fujinon 14. 1 zoom, 2x extender; 
BVU-110 recorder; 3 camera/recorder batteries; 




Some residents don't dig the effects of strip mining in 
Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area? 

27 



THE INDEPENDENT 



carrying cases. Priced to sell. Contact: Tom, (201) 
467-5486, NJ. 



Editing Facilities 

• WOMEN'S INTERART CENTER offers 
editing facilities w/Z6B system. Hands-on editing, 
$10/hr.; w/editor, $15/hr.; dubbing, $7/hr.; 
screenings, $5/hr. Post-production artist-in- 
residencies available for long-term projects. 
Deadlines ongoing. Contact: WIC, 549 West 52 St., 
NY NY, (212)246-1051. 

• EDITING & POST-PRODUCTION FACIL- M 
ITIES AVAILABLE: Short-term rentals only. 9| 
am-5 pm business days. KEM 8-plate 16/35mm, § 
3 A " video editing, sound transfer, narration recor- * 
ding, extensive sound effects library, interlock S 
screening. Contact: Cinetudes Film Productions, g 
295 West 4 St., NY NY 10014, (212) 966-4600. u 

• TWO COMPLETE EDIT ROOMS in Chelsea: 
(A) 24-hr. access: Moviola flatbed w/torque motor 
box; complete 16mm edit equipment; complete kit- 
chen & bathroom; minimal office facilities; 
telephone; air conditioning. (B) 10 am-6 pm access: 
Steenbeck; complete 16mm edit equipment; ltd. 
kitchen, bath facilities; private phone; air condi- 
tioning; transfer & projection facilities; specialized 
edit equipment available at extra cost. Contact: 
David Loucka, Lance Bird, (212) 924-1960, NY. 

• 29th STREET VIDEO "where the best edits cost 
less," offers 3 A " video editing & production svcs. 
Sony 5850 decks, RM440 editor, Microgen 
character generator, fade-to-black, audio mixer, 
mics, audiocassette tape recorders & more. Produc- 
tion svcs. include JVC KY2000 camera, Sony 4800 
deck, tripod, production mics, lights, more. Con- 
tact: Tami/David, (212) 594-7530, NY. 

• FILM EDITING FACILITY FOR RENT: fully 
equipped 16mm 6-plate Moviola flatbed in large 
air-conditioned room. All equipment in top condi- 
tion; $30/9-hr. shift, lower rates monthly. Lower 
Manhattan. Contact: Barry Shils, 70 Fulton St., 
(212)349-2717. 

• SELF-SERVICE EDITING: 3 A " JVC 
Tapehandlers, RM-88U editor, free instruction. 
$20/hr. Transfers, dubs etc. Contact: Videotrac, 
(212)473-6947, NY. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

• WANTED: Film/tape pieces to be edited into 
short magazine stories on fashion, makeup, spare 
time, travel, self-improvement, international 
stories, alternative lifestyles. Money & national ex- 
posure your reward for right product. Contact: 
Tammy Leshin, (212) 475-0777, NY. 

• DISPLA CEMENT /GENTRIFIC A TION ART 
SHOW invites artists/activists to contribute art, 
performances, street art to show on housing; May 
15-June 15. Possibility of limited gallery space. 
Contact: Political Art Documentation/Distribu- 
tion, (212)420-8196, NY. 

• CINEMART INTERNATIONAL seeks pre- 
viously unsold action/adventure, sci-fi, horror & 
adult features for distribution to unsold markets. 
Cash advanced. Contact: CI, 12125 Riverside Dr., 
Ste. 204, N. Hollywood CA 91607, (213) 506-0614; 
22 Rue de Cloitres St. Merri, 75004, Paris, France, 
277-55-84. 

28 



• UN PRODUCTIONS IN SEARCH OF: in- 
dependent film/videomakers for cable TV 
showcase. Format includes interviews & screenings. 
S-8, 16mm, Vi ", 3 A "works acceptable. No pay but 
exposure. Contact: Philip Keeker, UN Prod., 130 
Engle St., Englewood NJ 07631, (201) 567-5102. 

• PELICAN FILMS distributes films to health 
care profession, but short films & tapes for all 
markets welcome. Alternatives to traditional 
distribution arrangements offered. Contact: Ar- 
thur Hoyle, 3010 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 440, 
Santa Monica CA 90404 , (212) 399-3753. 




Kavery Dutta's First Look deals with Cuban painters. 

• FOX/LORBER ASSOCIATES, specialist in TV 
marketing & distribution, expanding feature film 
library for representation. Interested in full-length 
English-language films w/primarily narrative 
structure for sale to pay TV/cable, broadcast & 
home video, both domestic & foreign. Minimum 
length: 60 min.; no subtitles. Contact: Erica 
Markman, Fox/Lorber Assoc, 79 Madison Ave., 
Ste. 601, NY NY 10016, (212) 686-6777. 

• COLLECTIVE FOR LIVING CINEMA seeks 

independent films for monthly New Filmmakers 
Showcase. S-8, 16mm welcome; preferably per- 
sonal films by the unfamous. Contact: Andrea 
Sacker/Adam Zucker, CLC, 52 White St., NY NY 
10013, (212) 989-5045, 966-0624. 

• EYE MUSIC FILM WORKS SERIES seeks 
films/tapes for "Light Currents," weekly series of 
art, science works at Exploratorium, San Francisco 
museum of science/art/technology organized 
around theme of human perception. Science films 
w/strong visual appeal, films by artists using scien- 
tific concepts as points of departure in their work 
wanted. Slide pieces, multiple projector & in- 
termedia work also accepted. Send SASE. Contact: 
Eye Music Filmworks Series, 633 San Bruno Ave., 
SF CA 94107. 

• CHALLENGE PRODUCTIONS seeks short 
comic films/tapes to rent/screen as part of live 
stand-up comedian show currently in national tour. 
Max. 5 min. Pay-per-screening contract. Contact: 
Challenge Productions, PO Box 2357, Beverly Hills 
CA 90213, (213)461-5436. 

• THE KITCHEN distributes independently pro- 
duced TV to cable, broadcast & closed-circuit 



media in US & Europe. Contact: Kitchen Video 
Distribution Service, Gregory Miller, 59 Wooster 
St., NY NY 10012, (212) 925-3615. 

Funds • Resources 

• RESOURCES ART MAILING LISTS: Lists of 
artists, art organizations, supporters & publicity 
sources compiled & maintained by Resources. 
Several subcategories available, including Boston, 
NYC. $35/thousand, min. order $10. Other lists in- 
clude Alternative America, 12,000, $30/thousand; 
US House/Senate, 550, $25; more. Catalog 
available. Contact: Resources, Box 134, Harvard 
Square, Cambridge MA 02138, (617) 876-2789, 
492-8713. 

• FOUR STAGES AT ASTORIA STUDIO COM- 
PLEX available during 8-wk. period each year for 
use by publicly supported independent 
film/videomakers at 20% of current rental charge, 
plus daily flat rate for electricity & telephone. Part 
of development agreement between NYC, Astoria 
Studios Ltd. Partnership & Astoria Fdtn. For specs 
& fees for each studio, contact: Rochelle Slovin, 
Exec. Dir., Astoria Fdtn., (212) 784-4520, NY. 

• RHODE ISLAND STA TE COUNCIL ON THE 
ARTS accepting proposals from school & com- 
munity sites to sponsor artists' residencies after Ju- 
ly 1 & during coming academic year. Partial fund- 
ing for literature, film, video, music, visual arts, 
dance, theatre, folk arts, architecture. Upcoming 
deadlines: May 1, Aug. 1, 1983. Contact: RISCA, 
(401)277-3880. 

• EXPLORATIONS PROGRAM of Canada 

Council encourages innovative projects to address 
new needs or investigate new directions within or 
outside existing art forms. Next deadline: May 1, 
1983. Description of 1982 projects funded & list of 
grants by region available. Contact: Canada Coun- 
cil, 255 Albert St., PO Box 1047, Ottawa, Ontario 
K1P5V8. 

• ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS from North Carolina 
Arts Council provide direct support for NC artists 
who have made substantial contributions through 
practice of art. Unrestricted, except not applicable 
to costs relating to formal study toward academic 
research or degree. Filmmakers' applications ac- 
cepted during even-numbered years. Must prove 
NC residency for 1 yr. prior to application. 4 $5000 
fellowships awarded yearly. Contact: NCAC, 
Dept. Cultural Resources, Raleigh NC 27611. 

In & Out of Production 

• ROBERT S. ZAKANITCH— done. Fine arts 
documentary on one of America's major artists de- 
picts painter's work through early '70s, traces 
career leading to radical transformation of ideas in 
contemporary American art. 22 min., 16mm or 3 A " 
color. Contact: Elliot Caplan, 238 Mott St., NY 
NY 10012, (212) 226-6020. 

• FIRST LOOK— done. After over 20 years of 
non-communication between the 2 countries, 2 
contemporary Cuban artists visit the US in 
documentary about painters in Cuba today. 60 
min., color, by Kavery Dutta. Contact: River 
Films, 234 East 5 St., NY NY 10003, (212) 
475-0132. 

• WHA TEVER HAPPENED TO SUSAN JANE? 
— done. New Wave film comedy, set in streets of 
San Francisco, follows suburban housewife escap- 
ing ennui of former life through SF underground 

MAY •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



art scene in search of former classmate. Will be 
screened at Thalia Theatre, West 95/Broadway, 
NYC, May 12, 1983 only. 16mm, b/w & color, 60 
min. Contact: Marc Huestis, Outsider Produc- 
tions, 620 Guerrero St., #4, San Francisco CA 
94110,(415)863-2098. 

• WE WANT TO LIVE— done. Slide show surveys 
extraordinary visual imagery of June 12, 1982 
Disarmament Rally in NYC: largest antinuclear 
demonstration in US history. 140 color slides, 15 
min. sound track. Co-produced by Cultural Cor- 
respondence, Political Art Documentation/ 
Distribution. Show will go to Britain, Germany in 
Spring '83. Contact: Cultural Correspondence, 505 
West End Ave., #15C, NY NY 10024, (212) 
420-8196. 

• THE BLACK AND THE GREEN— done. Film 
by St. Clair Bourne about Irish struggle in Nor- 
thern Ireland. Contact: Owen Levy, (212) 
245-7380, NY. 

• THE FOUR CORNERS: A NATIONAL SAC- 
RIFICE AREA? — done. Report on "hidden costs" 
of US energy policy from perspective of residents 
of 90,000-sq.-mile Colorado plateau area. Cap- 
tures cultural & ecological effects of uranium min- 
ing/milling, coal strip mining & synthetic fuel 
development. Interviews w/Indian leaders, gover- 
nors, uranium miners, Mormon ranchers, energy 
company spokesmen & govt, officials document 
hopes & fears of wide array of Westerners w/regard 
to energy boom. Narrated by actor Peter Coyote. 
Produced by Christopher McLeod, Glenn Switkes, 
Randy Hayes in assn. w/Graduate School of 
Journalism/Berkeley w/major funding by AZ 
Humanities Council. 1 hr., 16mm. Contact: C. 
McLeod, Earth Image Films, (415) 747-0685. 

• HOW FAR HOME: VETERANS AFTER 
VIETNAM — in production. Concentrating on in- 
dividual vets across US, film explores diversity of 
experience, personality & values of survivors of 
US' longest war. Conceived, produced & directed 
by Vietnam veterans. Includes extensive interviews, 
encounters w/vets filmed during National Salute to 
Vietnam Veterans, combined with w/archival & 
new footage. How Far Home adopts no political, 
philosophical stand. Release expected summer '83. 
Co-produced by Northern Light Prods. & Valley 
Filmworks. Contact: Scott Robart, 176 Newbury 
St., Boston MA 021 16, (617)267-0391. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

• TOLEDO, OHIO ACTIVISTS seek independent 
producer to develop film/tape about Auto-Lite 
strike (1934) for 50th anniversary (1984). Newsreel 
footage, stills & over 60 oral history interviews col- 
lected. Research help available. Will assist fund- 
raising efforts for project. Call: (419) 242-9834, 
698-1915, OH. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER AVAILABLE for fic- 
tion, documentary. Fully equipped, including 
Aaton 7LTR, Cooke 10.4-52, 16 or S-16, Super 
Speed L.T1.3. Reasonable rates. Contact: Igor 
Sunara, (2 1 2) 249-04 1 6, N Y . 

mCINEMATOGRAPHER available w/Arri 
16SR, fast lenses & lights. Fluent in French, 
Spanish. Negotiable rates. Contact: Pedro Bonilla, 
(212)662-1913, NY. 

• NON-PROFIT INDEPENDENT FEATURE 
for German TV seeks production manager. 

MAY • 1983 



Shooting to begin early summer w/NY & Rhode 
Island locations. Must have experience managing 
low-budget narrative film. Call: (212) 260-4254 & 
leave message, NY. 

• WANTED: VIDEO PRODUCTION CREWS/ 
NEW YORK& CALIFORNIA: Directors, camera- 
persons, production assistants for growing pro- 
duction company working w/independent schools. 
Non-union. Vi " & 3 A " WV777 camera. Contact: 
Tony Clarkson, ABM Productions, Inc., Turk Hill 
Rd., Brewster NY 10509, (914) 279-4630. 

Publications 

• AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS 

library of fundraising, grants, arts/business 
publications includes: Guide to Corporate Giving 
3 — up-to-date info, on 700 major corporations' 
giving policies, $39.95; Effective Corporate Fund- 
raising by W. G. Brownrigg — a comprehensive 
strategy for successful corporate fundraising, 
$14.95; Partners: Practical Guide to Corporate 
Support of the Arts by Cultural Assistance 
Center — how businesses donate space, use PR 
budgets, support individual artists, $8.95; The 
Business of Art edited by L.E. Caplin — financial 
planning, artists' health hazards, copyright laws, 
self-promotion, $9.95; Money Business: Grants/ 
Awards for Creative Artists by the Artists Founda- 
tion — data on 279 organizations that award to in- 
dividual artists, $9.50; On the Dotted Line: The 
Anatomy of a Contract by J. Golden — takes the 
mystery out of contracts & negotiations, $6.50. 
Contact: ACA, 570 Seventh Ave., NY NY 10018. 

• TV SCRIPTWRITER'S HANDBOOK by 
Alfred Brenner takes imaginary scriptwriter 
through process of TV writing from idea to screen 
credit. 4 appendices include sample treatment, 2 
scripts, presentation for series, glossary. $12.95 
from: Writer's Digest Books, 9333 Alliance Rd., 
Cincinnati OH 45242. 

• CREATING ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING 
FOR CABLE TV tackles problems of independent 
video producers trying to break into cable TV: deal- 
ing w/access centers, funding, legal questions of 
ownership, source material, talent agreements etc. 
Includes advice on kinds of programing purchased 
by cable reps, how to sell, advertising, pros & cons 
of self-distribution. Edited by Wm. Drew Shaffer 
Wheelwright w/contributions from Kitty 
Morgan, ICAP; Susan Wallace, Metrovision, Inc.; 
Dee Pridgen, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection 
& others; glossary, bibliography. $29.95 from: 
Knowledge Industry Pubs., 701 Westchester Ave, 
White Plains NY 10604, (914) 328-9157. 

• CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE: Magazine 
of ideas in social movement; articles, poetry, fic- 
tion, photos, art etc. Published & edited by Jim 
Murray. $10/4 issues. Contact: CC, 505 West End 
Ave., #15C, NY NY 10024. 

• DIRECTOR Y OF ARTS A CTIVISM to be com- 
piled by Cultural Correspondence will include 
listings of groups & individual artists, catalog, 
reflection of diverse methods & aspirations of peo- 
ple creating new forms of art. Deadline for inclu- 
sion: June 1, 1983. Contact: CC, 505 West End 
Ave., NY NY 10024, (212) 420-8196. 

• THE STARTER KIT: Resource handbook for 
new community cultural organizations, compiled 
by Minority Affairs Committee of Dade County 
Council of Arts & Sciences. Free; $1.50 postage/ 



1.5 
pounds 




3.75 pounds 9.35x1.87x6.6" 

2 Audio/1 Sync. 




6.6 pounds 9.25x2.3x7.25" 

Conversions by THE FILM GROUP 



SENNHEISER 

AKG 

SONY 

UHER 

JVC 

LOWEL-LIGHT 



BOLEX 

BEAULIEU 

GOKO 

ORYTEC 

Bogen 



ELMO 

A-T MICS 

MILLER 

NIZO 

SANKYO 

SPECTRA 



WIDELUX 



JAC 



'ARPENTER(CINE) 

P.O. BOX 1321 
MEADVILLE, PA 16335-0821 



BEK 



VIDEO 



/4 PRODUCTION 

$20-$30 

JVC SYSTEM 8200 

DIGITAL TIME BASE CORRECTOR 

GRAPHICS CAMERA 

CHARACTER GENERATOR 

PRODUCTION SWITCHER 



IN-HOUSE STUDIO PRODUCTION 

DUBS: VHS — U-MATIC — VHS 

SLO-MO / FREEZE / REVERSE / V2 " 

R/R COPIES / COLOR 8650 

AUDIO MIXER / EQUALIZER 

EFP PRODUCTION 

WITH IKEGAMI ITC 730 

DEKART VIDEO 

212-966-7786 



29 



THE INDEPENDENT 



handling. Contact: DCCAS, 200 South Miami 
Ave., Rm. 281, Miami FL 33130, (305) 579-3618. 

• NORTH SHORE WOMEN WRITER'S ALLI- 
ANCE NEWSLETTER: For women artists, wri- 
ters on all levels & especially beginning writers. 
Quarterly, $8/yr. Contact: NSWWA, Box 511, 
Port Jefferson NY 11777. 

• ORIGINAL ART REPORT: Wry eye on na- 
tional art policy, trends; reads between the lines of 
corporate patronage & govt, "artocrats. " Reader 
response encouraged. $14.50/12 issues, $9.07 artist 
rate, $1.25/sample issue. Contact: Frank Salantrie, 
Ed., PO Box 1641, Chicago IL 60690. 

Seminars • Conferences 

• COMMUNICATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN: 
Research seminar/tour to study interrelationship 
between communication & national development in 
Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico. Visit radio/TV sta- 
tions, universities, rural development projects, 
farms in 3 diverse economies. Open to scholars & 
media professionals. May 2-24, package price 
$1800. Contact: Howard H. Frederick, Com- 
munications Program, Mary Baldwin College, 
Staunton VA 24401, (703) 885-0811. 

• CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL ART EXPO, 
May 19-24, will include continuous screenings of 
160 latest video works by 75 European & American 
artists including Bob Snyder, Barbara Latham, 
Michael Auder, Tony Oursler & Dara Birnbaum at 
Video Data Bank, School of Art Institute of 
Chicago. CIAE is only juried, world-class art 
forum of its kind affording art collectors, dealers, 
curators & general art enthusiasts marketplace for 
purchase & viewing of high-quality 20th-century' 
artworks. Contact: Thomas P. Blackman, Direc- 
tor, CIAE, (312)787-6858. 

• FILM PRESERVATION: Open forum spon- 
sored by SMPTE, Museum of Modern Art, Wed. 
May 18. Examples of preservation work to be 
screened. Limited seating, free admission. 6:30-8 
pm. MoMA, 18 West 54 St., NY NY. 

• WORKSHOPS AT COLLECTIVE FOR LIV- 
ING CINEMA: "Animation Technique" — Sun. 
Apr. 24 & 30, May 1 & 7, 12-6 pm: $80. Gary Mar- 
tin, instructor. Intro to traditional & non- 
traditional techniques. Film & equipment provid- 
ed. "Animation for Young Persons" — Tues. May 
3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 4-6 pm: $40. Mary Filippo, in- 
structor. Students age 7-12 learn animation tech- 
niques & make group film. "Directing Actors for 
Film"— Tues. May 3, 10, 17, 24, 7-10 pm: $80. 
Amy Taubin, instructor. For directors & actors. 
Deals with specific film acting problems; geared to 
independent filmmaker. Bring script material to 
work with. Sessions videotaped for critique. 
"Lighting"— Sat. May 14, Sun. May 15, Sat. May 
21, 12-6 pm: $80. Mark Daniels, instructor. 
Lighting techniques, geared to independent film- 
maker. Equipment & film provided. Contact: 
CLC, 52 White St., NY NY 10013, (212) 925-21 1 1 . 

• NAM AC CONFERENCE, June 8-11 at Walker 
Art Center. Theme: The Media Arts in Transition; 
activities include daytime workshops, panel discus- 
sions, individual presentations in which par- 
ticipants examine history, present state & future of 
film, video & audio media arts. Evening premieres 
of new film/video & sound works. Specially com- 
missioned works will be installed at other locations 
in Twin Cities. Fee: $45; Walker Art Center, 

30 



NAMAC, Film in the Cities & Univ. Community 
Video members: $35. Contact: Melinda Ward, Dir. 
Media Progams, WAC, Vineland Place, Min- 
neapolis MN 55403, (612) 375-7600. 

Trims • Glitches 

• THE WINTER THERE WAS VERY LITTLE 

SNOW by Walter Ungerer of Dark Horse Films, 
Montpelier VT will be screened Monday, May 9, 6 
pm as part of Museum of Modern Art 
"Cineprobe" series. Contact: MoMA, 1 1 West 53 
St., NY NY 10019, (212) 956-6100. 

• 1983 AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE IN- 
DEPENDENT FILMMAKER GRANTS totaling 
$249,000 have been awarded to 14 of 570 ap- 
plicants. 6 recipients are AIVF members: 
Drama— Willy Matos, NYC, Rick Wise, Oakland 
CA; Documentary — Ralph Arlyck, Poughkeepsie 
NY, Julia Reichert, Dayton OH: Experimen- 
tal—Rachel Feldman, NYC; Christine Choy, 
NYC. Other winners include: Beth Brickell, LA; 
Theodore Life, NYC; Marva Nabili, LA; Robin 
Nilsson, San Francisco; Marcy Page, San Fran- 
cisco; Judy Chaikin, Studio City CA; Karen Good- 
man, NYC; C. Dorian Walker, LA. Info re: 1984 
cycle available: Independent Filmmaker Program, 
AFI, 2021 Western Ave., PO Box 27999, Los 
Angeles CA 90027, (213) 856-7696. 

• 1983 BIENNIAL EXHIBITION of film & 
single-channel videotapes by 30 artists showing 
through May 29 at Whitney Museum, NYC. In- 
cludes for first time work in S-8. Complete pro- 
gram, schedule available. Contact: Whitney, 
Madison Ave./75 St., NY NY 10021, (212) 
570-3633. 

• CONGRATULATIONS independent producers 
whose works have been chosen to air in spring '83 
Independent Focus series on WNET/Thirteen. 12 
film/video works by AIVF members (*) were 
selected among the 23 works to be screened between 
April 3-June 3: The Plan, Diane Orr & C. Larry 
Roberts*; Winter to Spring, Todd A. Denman; The 
Hideout, Brian F. Patrick*;. Joe's Bed-Stuy 
Barbershop: We Cut Heads, Spike Lee; Bloomers, 
Hildy Brooks; Thursday's Child, John Stern, 
Elizabeth Clark & Claire Beckham; Suzanne, 
Suzanne, Camille Billops & James Hatch; Survival 
of a Small City, Nancv Salzer* & Pablo Frasconi*; 
Simpson Street, William Sarokin* Films; A Dif- 
ferent Image, Alile Sharon Larkin; Todos Santos 
Cuchumatan, Olivia Carrescia*; Rape/Crisis, 
Gary T. McDonald; Animus, Gary Schwartz: 
Come Back, Tina Rathborne*; A Day in the Life of 
a Mosquito, John Schnall; Dissipative Dialogues. 
David Erhlich*; Disturbance, Alain le Razer; A 
Film About My Home, Oren Rudavsky*: Gaia's 
Dream, Rose Bond; Sandsong, Stuart A. 
Goldman*; The Ugly Dog Contest, Skip 
Blumberg* & Jules Backus; Pink Triangles, Cam- 
bridge Documentary Films; Daughter Rite, 
Michelle Citron*. 

Dear Independent: 

In light of the generally excellent information 
contained in the article on CBS Cable in the Oc- 
tober 1982 issue, I found it puzzling that the por- 
trayal of Mississippi ETC was provincial and 
patronizing. This was especially disturbing since 
certain statements were attributed directly to me. 
My relationship with Mississippi ETV extended 
over a two-year period in which I developed a great 
respect for the station, its work and its personnel. 

It's inaccurate to characterize Mississippi ETV as 



a station that would have to rely on an outside pro- 
ducer in order to gain a national PBS broadcast, as 
this quotation implies: "Mississippi ETV supplied 
$50,000 worth of free editing time plus tech crews, 
in the hope of pinning its logo on the wished-for na- 
tional PBS broadcast." The truth is that a number 
of nationally broadcast shows have originated from 
this public network, and they didn't need me to get 
another one. My agreement with them was much 
more complex than this statement suggests. 

However, what are most disturbing are these 
words, which never came out of my mouth: "For 
the shoot, the techies would just//y from Jackson 
to New Orleans at 80 miles per hour, the fuzzbuster 
on and a six-pack on the dash." It's a cute state- 
ment and may make colorful copy but I didn't say 
it. First of all, the words "techies" and "fuzz- 
buster" aren't in my vocabulary. Second, based on 
my long-term experience with ETV personnel, I 
can't even imagine something like this occurring. 
Third, this statement is potentially damaging to 
ETV. Mississippi ETV is funded primarily by the 
state legislature and there are stringent rules against 
state employees using intoxicants on the job, as well 
as strict guidelines for using state vehicles (none of 
which, to my knowledge, contains a "fuzzbuster"). 
Attributing such actions to Mississippi ETV 
employees could potentially, under Mississippi 
state employee regulations, cause tnose employees 
to be dismissed. Furthermore, such allegations of 
unprofessional conduct could adversely affect the 
network's funding. 

During the interview, I did refer to an instance 
when the ETC crew rushed down to New Orleans 
on very short notice. This was in response to the 
last-minute wishes of Professor Longhair's widow 
that we document his wake and funeral. The ETC 
crew showed great sensitivity and concern in their 
successful efforts to arrive at the location before 
the wake so as not to disrupt it. I was impressed and 
touched by their professionalism and commitment 
to this documentary project. I had hoped that your 
article would contain this account as an example of 
an exceptional relationship between an indepen- 
dent and a PBS station. 

Possibly this problem happened because of the 
unusual method by which this article came to be 
written. I was interviewed, and the interview 
audiotaped, by your editor, Kathleen Hulsar [sic]. I 
have never met or spoken with the article's writer, 
Paula Martinez. I stand by whatever I said, as 
recorded on the audiotape. It's disturbing to me 
that in the transmission process between inter- 
viewer and writer, or recorded tape and writer, my 
words and thoughts were tailored into cute quips 
which were both convoluted and off-base, not to 
mention potentially slanderous. 

I regret that these mischaracterizations appeared 
in your publication and I'm personally hurt that 
they were attributed to me. There are independent 
producers all over the country working with small 
PBS stations, and to attribute statements like this 
to an independent producer about a station with 
whom he developed a mutually beneficial working 
relationship could hurt these cooperative efforts 
for all independents. Stevenson J. Palfi 

First, a confession: having written half the Oc- 
tober issue, I didn 7 want to stick my byline on yet 
another article. Paula Martinez was a pseudonym. 

Regarding the "fuzzbuster" and "six-pack," 
these are words taken directly from the audiotape. 
Regarding the portrayal of Mississippi ETV, it 
reflects what Palfi offered in the interview. No one 
at the Independent had or has any axes to grind vis- 
a-vis Mississippi. I'm sorry to have caused hurt or 
embarrassment. — Kathleen Hulser 

MAY* 1983 



Aaton 



Can you tell the difference 
between these two cameras? 



20 minutes! 




(The camera on the left is ready 
to shoot 16mm, and the same 
camera, on the right, is set for 
Super 16.) 



20 minutes is all it takes to convert the AATON LTR from 16 mm to Super 16. With Super 16 
increasing in popularity, more and more producers and directors are choosing the AATON LTR 
for unequaled results! 

Why invest in a camera that only offers you one format when you can have an AATON? 
AATON LTR 




250 West 57th Street 
New York N.Y. 10019 

(212) 245-1598 
Telex: 12-5122 



1-800-221-3349 

(All 50 States Except NY) 




YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (2 1 2) 244"8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 



Member AICP 



(213)858-1848 




DAMSH SOUPERDAG 

"An amazing amount of space!" 

— NEW YORK TIMES 

These practical Danish School Bags fea- 
ture six handy pockets, expandable 
sides, sturdy straps; wear like cold-rolled 
steel; will organize your life; are gener- 
ally splendiferous. Also, other Danish 
School Bag carriers make interesting din- 
ner companions. Perfect 'carry-on' flight 
bag, sensible gift. Brown, Black, Grey, 
Turquoise, Bright Blue, Orangey Red. 
$49.50, plus $3.00 shipping. 

THE CHOCOLATE SOUP 

946 Madison Avenue, New York 10021 



FIVF Scriptwriters' 
Workshop With Frank Daniel 

Saturday & Sunday, May 7 & 8, 1-5 pm 
FIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor NY NY 10012 



Producer/Screenwriter Frank Daniel (Pro- 
gram Director at Sundance Film Institute, 
Chair of the Film Division of Columbia 
University, Academy Award-winner for On 
Main Street) will build the workshop 
around critiques of participants' rough- 
draft screenplays. Also, he will screen a 
Hollywood feature and an independent 
feature to contrast their differing ap- 
proaches to screenwriting. Limited enroll- 
ment to ensure individual attention, so 
register early! 




For more info, 
contact FIVF 
program coordinator 
Isaac Jackson 
(212)473-3400. 



Registration is $40 for AIVF members/ 
$60 for non-members for both sessions. 
Registration in person (through May 6) at 
FIVF's offices or mail or money order (by 
May 4) payable to FIVF. Write "Script- 
writers' Workshop" on check. 



FIVF 

625 Broadway, 9th floor 

New York NY 10012 



NON-PROFIT ORG. 
US POSTAGE 

PAID 
New York, NY. 
Permit No. 7089 



MOVING? LET US KNOW. . . 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process 
an address change, and we don't 
want you to miss a single issue. 



THE 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 



JUNE 1983 



$150 



INDEPENDENT 



The Real Implications of Diversity 
at DC Doc Conference 

Wiz Video Editor John J. Godfrey Talks 
Transcontinental S-8 




I Spy 
An Audience: 

1 Catching the Eye 

of Video 

Distributors 



■m 




# \*:cg 




■■■■■■■■■■P» 

aKB9HP"» 

- Clear T"*^ ,he A a,0 ° 



mGBF 



WM\ 






u P^ « 

.Lift . .,w« a»a ****** 




w^BL 




m 



^ 



WS^M'iot'*W* 



t filters 




call in 




,^0W« ttS "Jl ce«* ef ,fl 
t find «■» ^ nV" 11 ""J 



Sit 57th Street 
Bfc, N.Y. 10019 
>122 




Vr 



UWr 




- VBp [Enterprises 

^ 800/221.3349 

S5 



i North Cole Avenue 
Hollywood, CA 90038 
Telex: 12-5122 

213/463-8151^-^5 



800/221-3349 

(AH 50 States Except NY) 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

JUNE 1983 • VOL. SIX, NUMBER FIVE 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Hulser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 



Contributing Editors: Bob Brodsky, 

Mary Guzzy, David Leitner, Wendy 

Lidell, Susan Linfield, Toni Tread way 

Contributors: Chris Beaver, Skip 

Blumberg, Denise Brassard, Isaac 

Jackson, Melody Pariser 

Adrienne Weiss 



Art Director: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typesetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Petcap 



The Independent is published 10 limes yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
(FIVF), 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 
10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of independent video 
and film, and by the Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF). the national trade 
association of independent producers and individuals 
involved in independent video and film. Subscription is 
included with membership in AtVF. Together, FIVF 
and A IVF provide a broad range of education and pro- 
fessional services for independents and the general 
public. Publication of The Independent is made possi- 
ble in part with public funds from the New York Stale 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for 
the Arts, a Federal agency. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our 
members and supporters. If you have an idea for, or 
wish to contribute, an article to The Independent, con- 
tact the Editor at the above address. 

All contents are copyright of the authors and The In- 
dependent, except where otherwise noted, and reprints 
require written permission from both. ISSN 
0731-5198. 

QFIVFVm 



A1VF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Ev 
ccuiive Director; Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Isaac 
Jackson Media Coordinator: Sot Borwttz, Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Susan linfield. Short Film- 
Showcase Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Piatt, Member- 
ship Coordinator; Mary Guzzy, Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Roben Richter, 
President: William Greaves, Vice President: Lillian Jimenez, 
Chair: Kathy Kline, Secretary; Matt Clarke, Treasurer: 
Lawrence Sapadin (ex-officio); Daniel Edelman; Pablo 
Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; 
Richard Schmiechen; Thomas Turley. 

A Publication of 

The Foundation for 

Independent Video & Film 

a 

The Association of 

Independent Video & 

Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 

Features 



Interview with John J. Godfrey 

Video Engineer Talks about Crashing Technical Barriers • Skip Blumberg 

Plugging into the Video Circuit 

A Guide to Non-Broadcast Video Distribution • Isaac Jackson 

Columns 



13 
16 



AIVF Forum • Dealing with National PTV 

Conference Notebook from DC Doc Even f Kathleen Hulser 

Super -8 • An International Snapshot Album 

Festival Beat, Kodak on Future of Stock & More • Toni Treadway & Bob Brodsky 

Books • "Digital Harmony" by John Whitney 

Artist on Quest for Principles of Visual Composition • Reynold Weidenaar 



a 

10 
20 



Festivals • Canadian Triple-Header 

Two Views of NY, Plus Telluride, London & Mannheim • Wendy Lidell & Melody Pariser 

Notices 25 

Edited by Mary Guzzy 

COVER: A moment of anxiety in "Alarm, " a 1980 tape by Yugoslavian-born artist Ante Bozanich. 
The tape is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix. See "Plugging into the Video Circuit" article on 
page 16. 



PTV Racket Rapped 

Dear Independent, 

I was a little surprised that your March ac- 
count of Civilization and the Jews did not 
mention the scandalous treatment of par- 
ticipants in WNET's Years of Darkness pro- 
gramme. 

On 17 February, at the Jewish Museum, 
WNET sponsored a reception ostensibly in 
honor of the latter series. I met Josh Waletsky 
and Susan Lazarus there, but the other direc- 
tors and producers were not in sight. Clips 
from three of the films in the series, including 
mine, were to shown to an audience compos- 
ed of WNET people, Jewish philanthropists, 
and other invited personages. 

Then John J. Iselin and Marion Swaybill 
got up and made a fundraising pitch for more 
millions for Civilization and the Jews. Walet- 
sky, Lazarus and I were not even mentioned 
or introduced to the audience. The Channel 
13 officials linked our films to the need to 
raise millions of dollars for the new series, 
despite the fact that they paid only $3,600 for 
my 90-minute feature film (and deducted 
costs!), and then said the new series would 
continue the tradition of excellence our films 
represented. 

I would urge that FIVF insist upon fair 
compensation for producers and act more as a 
union to insist that the price paid for broad- 
cast accurately reflect the cost of production. 
FIVF should ask for a congressional in- 
vestigation into the structure of public televi- 
sion financing in America, with an aim 
towards setting up something akin to the 



British system where freelance producers 
don't have to waste time and effort finding 
underwriters so that they can afford to make 
programs. The television stations pay the 
cost, the producers make the programs. The 
current system encourages high overhead, 
constant anxiety, and waste, fraud and cor- 
ruption. Channel 13 has been exposed in The 
New York Times as mismanaged — to say the 
least. It is time that legislation were enacted to 
remedy this exploitative situation. 

Laurence Jarvik, Producer-director 
Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die? 

Fair Share 

Correction: 

To clarify a wrong impression which was 
conveyed in the Media Clip of April's In- 
dependent regarding a prize jointly awarded 
to Robert Richter and WNET/13's TV Lab: 

"The Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Univer- 
sity awards are offering a $20,000 cash prize 
to honor the contributions the independent 
producer has made to the quality and 
originality of broadcast journalism and to en- 
courage individual stations and networks to 
air these programs. The prize will be divided 
equally between the independent producer 
judged to have done the most outstanding 
work in news and public affairs during the 
year, and the station or network responsible 
for the original airing of the work." (From 
press release and guidelines of A.I. Dupont- 
Columbia Awards.) The award is given to 
Robert Richter and WNET/13. 

Apologies to David Loxton and the TV 
Lab. — Ed. U 



JUNE •* 983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PRINCIPLES « RESOLUTIONS 
OF THE ASSOCIATION 



AIVF FOUNDING PRINCIPLES 

1. The Association is a trade associa- 
tion of and for independent video and 
filmmakers. 

2. The Association encourages excel- 
lence, commitment and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and 
filmmaking is more than just a job — it 
goes beyond economics to involve the ex- 
pression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through com- 
bined effort of membership, to provide 
practical, informational and moral sup- 
port for independent video and film- 
makers and is dedicated to ensuring the 
survival and providing support for the 
continuing growth of independent video 
and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its sup- 
port to one genre, ideology or aesthetic, 
but furthers diversity of vision in artistic 
and social consciousness. 

J. The Association champions indepen- 
dent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is deter- 
mined, by mutual action, to open path- 
ways toward exhibition of this work to 
the community at large. 



AIVF RESOL UTIONS 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in 
fostering cooperation, community & 
justice in human relationships without 
respect to age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the 
freedom of expression of the indepen- 
dent film and videomaker, as spelled out 
in the A IVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and 
heightened awareness among the mem- 
bership of the social, artistic and per- 
sonal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, 
via such mechanisms as screenings and 
forums. 

5. To continue to work to strengthen 
AIVF's services to independents, in 
order to help reduce the membership's 
dependence on the kind of sponsorship 
which encourage the compromise of per- 
sonal values. 



AIVF FORUM 



DC Doc Conference 

Nothing Ventured, 
Nothing Gained? 



KATHLEEN HULSER 

The AIVF Forum presents discussions of 
issues in media policy within AIVF and the in- 
dependent community as a whole. The views 
expressed are those of the author. 

The last couple of years have been an anx- 
ious time for indies, and with three out of 
three major indie series (Matters of Life and 
Death, Crisis to Crisis, Non-Fiction TV) 
either squashed or hanging in the air, pro- 
ducers are in no mood to trifle. At "The Inde- 
pendent Documentary: The Implications of 
Diversity," an April conference in Wash- 
ington (co-sponsored by the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting and the American Film 
Institute), PTV officials mumbled and sighed 
about familiar problems rid indies weren't 
soothed. Judging by talks with participants 
and the Tuesday session I attended, the "im- 
plications of diversity" were precisely what 
the harried bureaucrats were hoping to avoid. 
Thus, their approach to the conference topic 
ranged from citing the enormous risks involv- 
ed in airing indie material without the in- 
surance policy of an executive producer's 
John Hancock, to the ever-vague and conve- 
nient accusation of lapses in "journalistic in- 
tegrity," a standard the officials were as loath 
to define as they were quick to invoke. Even 
in the absence of their own newsroom 
organization, the PBS officials on hand were 
confident of their ability to pick shows 
"suitable for national broadcast," or to 
transform submitted material into that sacred 
substance. As Carol Brandenburg (of Matters 
of Life and Death and WNET/13's TV Lab) 
put it, "We aren't talking about a public ac- 
cess channel, we are talking about national 
public TV. " (Sanctus!) 

So PTV was worried about balance in pro- 
gramming, and indies, as usual, were worried 
about funding and access to the PBS sched- 
ule. The panels were so heavily weighted with 
officialdom that most of the important points 
had to be raised from the floor. And as there 
was far too little time for floor-to-podium 
flow, nitty-gritty issues were tackled in the 
lobby and at an irate indie caucus held after 
the three-day event. I learned two things from 
the conference worth mentioning: Talking in 
his customarily over-convivial manner, Pro- 
gram Fund head Ron Hull announced that 
there would be no more consortia, and that $6 
million are in the "Open Solicitation" pot, tc 
be spent mostly on indies (although stations 



may apply). The second item, the start-up of 
Michael Mears' No Sacred Cows national free 
speech series, I'll discuss later on. 

TASTE, CLASS & OBJECTIVITY 

After hearing reports that the Monday ses- 
sion had included a withering statement by 
Gail Christian (PBS News) — that she was 
tired of seeing bad indie work and wouldn't 
"lay my ass" on the line for it — I found 
myself wondering about the backdrop to this 
ritualistic round of accusations. Why is 
mutual mistrust always the main course when 
indies and PTV sit down for dinner together? 
Despite their obvious common interests — in- 
dies need PTV and PTV would be dullsville 
without them — over the years a variety of 
structures have never yielded a viable system. 
It doesn't help that indies are reluctant to sub- 
mit their projects to the homogenizing prac- 
tices that anyone familiar with a network 
newsroom takes for granted. For their part, 
PTV officials from the station level up are 
characteristically suspicious of initiatives 
originating outside their TV, journalistic and 
class milieu — and public broadcasters are no 
better equipped than their newspaper 
counterparts to embrace unfamiliar cultures. 
This applies to form as well as to content. 
Who could believe that in 1983 PBS would 
reinvent the anchor/host concept after 
cinema verite practitioners had spent a decade 
subverting the creed that an on-camera nar- 
rator guarantees credibility and audience ap- 
peal? When the 1978 Public Telecommunica- 
tions Financing Act mandated "diversity," it 
didn't say diversity must be packaged in the 
same old forms, nor did it privilege network 
newsroom norms as the only way to present 
non-fiction. 

Without going too far astray, I would like 
to resurrect a common critique of the BBC: 
Despite its worthy goals, the BBC is limited by 
its origins as the creature of an enlightened 
and benevolent elite imposing its tastes on an 
audience whose judgments are not to be 
trusted. A mental review of the PBS prime- 
time schedule gives a similar picture of its 
aspirations. Worse, unlike the BBC, the waif 
PBS arose in a context defined by a commer- 
cial industry; PBS has always been surprising- 
ly proud to proclaim that so-and-so personali- 
ty "came from the networks," as if experience 
in that advertiser-based enterprise was 

JUNE »1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



automatically transferable to a public institu- 
tion. Assuming that news documentaries em- 
body the highest virtues of the non-fiction 
form, PTV has spent an awful lot of energy 
trying to shoehorn indies into that mold, and 
very little brainpower trying to envision new 
ways to deal with new voices. This set of 
aspirations reveals one source of conflict with 
unruly indies. Despite some cracks in its iron 
corset of respectability, PTV is still unable (or 
unwilling) to permit substantial access to the 
airwaves it is required to program "for the 
public interest, convenience and necessity." 
Validation by credentialed authorities has too 
often been a sine qua non of getting material 
aired, and sometimes even that hasn't sufficed. 

SOURCES & NEWS JUDGMENTS 

If there was a common thread in the 
generalized charges made against indies at the 
conference, it was that their documentaries 
didn't include enough of the "correct" sort of 
official sources, be they government or cor- 
porate spokespersons. But few on the DC 
podium stopped to reflect on the strength of 
much indie material: its concentration on just 
those voices pertinent to situations happening 
outside the usually dominant circles of of- 
ficialdom. As Herbert Gans remarked in a 
book (Understanding the News) PTV toppers 
would do well to study: "While in theory 
sources can come from anywhere, in practice 
their recruitment and their access to jour- 
nalists reflect the hierarchies of the nation and 
society. The president of the US has instan- 
taneous access to all news media whenever he 
wants it; the powerless must resort to civil 
disturbances to obtain it." Independents, 
who traditionally lavish more research time 
on their projects than station staff can, have 
grassroots connections that need to be tapped. 
Public officials and corporate officers already 
wield an overwhelming advantage in access to 
airtime; PTV people resistant to programs 
drawing heavily on the "unbalanced" words 
and attitudes of the disenfranchised should 
step back and reexamine their own notions of 
what>constitutes proper journalistic perspec- 
tive — and how that perspective is bound to 
the choice and weighting of sources. (And this 
is not to imply that all non-fiction is jour- 
nalism or news documentary). Cries of "one- 
sidedness" often indicate official reluctance 
to deal with a democratic use of the airwaves. 

Meanwhile, the precarious finances of the 
system exacerbate these difficulties in a man- 
ner peculiarly well-matched to a bogus 
American notion of independence. Consider 
that corporations may fund Milton Fried- 
man's Free to Choose to the hilt, whereas in- 
die Elsa Rassbach must spend years fighting 
PBS conflict of interest rules in order for the 
AF1-CIO to be permitted to contribute limited 
funds to her series on American labor history. 

LACK OF VISION 

The conference's gravest conceptual flaw, 
in other words, was its failure to address basic 
JUNE •1983 



PRESS LIST 

AlVF's Press List for the New York area, 
listing over 200 print, radio and TV contacts in- 
terested in alternative media, is available on 
Avery labels for $10. Use it to publicize your 
screening, fundraiser or production plans. 
Easy to update, easy to use again. Call (212) 
473-3400. 



assumptions, preferring to shift blame onto a 
band of troublemaking indies who can't quite 
attain the "quality" standard. In an excellent 
article in Screen (January/February 1983), 
considering how British public TV will fare 
when faced with a deluge of commercial 
broadcasting, Nicholas Garnham says, "One 
way of rekindling faith in a public service 
alternative is to examine the record of such in- 
stitutions and to show how far their actual 
performance is from being the necessary 
shape of public service broadcasting." 
Precisely this radical reexamination was lack- 
ing at the Washington panels, and was enthu- 
siastically greeted as an action strategy (see Pro- 
posed Options box) by the indies attending. 

Once again, the fundamental problem is a 
dearth of plans and vision about how to im- 
plement access. How will the public be ac- 
commodated in its right to have public monies 
for production, and public airwaves for the 
finished product? So far, a fraction of the tax 
money going to CPB has financed half-heart- 
ed attempts to provide limited access, but the 
compromised nature of the system has in- 
troduced as many difficulties as it has solved. 
To date PTV's funded and aired document- 
aries hardly reflect the spectrum of America's 
many voices. And Barry Chase, sweating in 
the hot seat while denying the subjectivity of 
his agenda-setting function at PBS Public Af- 
fairs, looks a bit foolish in an era when 
cultural and class bias is a commonly 
acknowledged component of judgments on 



what's newsworthy — or not. Perhaps next 
time CPB has some money to spend on educa- 
tion, it could send the brass to the nearest 
university course in "Myths of Media Objec- 
tivity 101." 

PACKAGING 

Now for the facts. The Tuesday morning 
"Packaging" panel talked about everything 
but. Brandenburg and David Fanning 
contributed an amusing mix of self- 
justification and apology. Brandenburg ex- 
plained that Matters of Life and Death 
(MLD) was broadcast, even though it wasn't 
PBS that picked it up. We know that; but 
what are the future packagers of indie pro- 
jects doing to ensure that the finished product 
is properly promoted and aired? Fanning of- 
fered an anecdotal resume of his filmmaking 
career, thus managing to avoid questions 
about Frontline, which is now funded for a 
second season. (In the lobby, he told me 
Round Two will resemble Round One, with 
Jessica Savitch on camera and a similar mix ol 
subjects and styles selected by him. When ask- 
ed if he would be doing an "open 
solicitation," he replied affirmatively. When 
asked if that implied doing such outreach as 
mailings, he said, "No, because serious peo- 
ple know about us."). As for the indies on the 
panel, both happened to be currently involved 
with PTV projects. Tony Mussari, now work- 
ing on a MLD doc, testified had he had never 
made a film before and he liked working with 
Brandenburg. Also on hand to say amen was 
Sherry Jones (maker of Pentagon, Inc. for 
Frontline), who claims she won all her 
arguments with Fanning. QED: all is well with 
indies and PTV. Not addressed was the dif- 
ference between assigning a line producer to a 
less-experienced indie who needs and wants 
one, and imposing an executive producer on 
mature, skilled producers capable of turning 
out polished material. 








N I X - B 



l.*:**-* 



■ 



HH^^B 



Award winning American films 

Finest foreign productions 

All lengths, genres & subject areas 

Let us be your television/non-theatrical representatives 



J5* 






THE INDEPENDENT 



JOURNAL/STIC STANDARDS 

Better-conceived, although ultimately not 
much more productive, was the afternoon's 
battling panel focusing on PBS' decision not 
to broadcast James Gambone's Agent 
Orange: A Case of Dignity and Doubt. For 
panelist Barry Chase, it was all doubts and no 
dignity. After the doc was screened, he 
criticized as "too dire" its "implication" that 
over two million Viet vets might be affected 
by exposure to dioxin. To the indie audience it 
was clear that the direness rested not on the 
facts of the show but on the consequences of 
airing it over a PTV system located within ex- 
posure range of the Pentagon and Congress. 
Stephen Kulczycki, VP of KTCA in Min- 
neapolis, first submitted the program to a 
referree (a journalist and ex-All Things Con- 
sidered radio producer) and then aired it with 
a discussion panel following it. Another indie 
voice on the panel, PBS and network- 
seasoned producer Diego Echeverria, express- 
ed astonishment that Agent Orange had been 
turned down, because he had seen much 
stronger and more subjective pieces every 
week on TV. He also suggested that PBS is 
"insecure" in its news judgments because it 
lacks a news staff. Rapping Gambone for his 
failure to query the responsible Veterans' Ad- 
ministration benefits chief, Chase said that 
could prevent the viewer from having the 
tools to understand the program. Gambone 
replied that PBS has a step-up fund, intended 
for eleventh-hour program grooming; and 
why hadn't Chase offered this solution if the 
Vet chief's quote was so critical? The panel 
closed on a note of edgy frustration. James 
Klein asked from the floor about Chase's 
credentials for making such decisions, and his 
reply ("a lawyer") revealed what PBS con- 
siders the chief qualifications for a 
gatekeeper's post. No doubt the stations en- 
joy Chase's low-libel-suit record, but the rest 
of us are still waiting for all the controversial 
risky programming that PBS constantly 
claims to favor. 



"OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE" PANEL 

PTV's ace up the sleeve was Mr. Michael 
Seven Dirty Words Mears, who announced 
from the podium that his free-speech series in 
Maine had never been sued. Mears, who 
quoted Krishna in his talk on the new No 
Sacred Cows series modeled on his Maine 
Seven Dirty Words, is someone we will be 
hearing about in the upcoming season. The 
No Sacred Cows idea hinges on the thrill of 
forbidden fruit to hook in an audience. Like 
7DW, it will open with a warning statement 
telling viewers that they will be offended by 
the biased, subjective program to follow, and 
it will include a cameo by a public figure prais- 
ing free speech. Next will come a brief intro by 
someone close to the subject matter: "The 
filmmaker, a person in the piece or an 
expert," explained Mears in a telephone inter- 
view. 

As for the series' organization, one relief is 

JUNE *1 083 



that PBS is already involved, so there 
shouldn't be any MLD-type carriage fiasco. 
"I will be executive producing the series," 
says Mears, "making selections myself but 
soliciting advice and consultation from as 
many as possible, and using an advisory 
board composed of community groups, film- 



Proposed Options 

The following AIVF proposals were read 
from the floor at the Washington conference. 
AIVF welcomes your responses, suggestions 
and amendments: 

1 . ACCEPT THE NEW STATUS QUO A T 
CPB. Learn to live with the consortia. 
Urge more money for unsolicited pro- 
posals and hope they get aired. 

2. PRESS FOR THE OLD STATUS QUO. 

Lobby against the consortia and for all 
Program Fund money to be distributed by 
the Program Fund, a substantial amount 
of it directly to independents. Push for 
restoration of past series formats like 
"Crisis to Crisis" and "Life and Death." 

3. MODIFY THE STATUS QUO. Accept 
the existence of major series produced by 
consortia, but require use of Program 
Fund procedures at consortium level, at 
least where indie production is concern- 
ed. Transform "unsolicited proposals" at 
CPB into an "open solicitation" process 
calling for work in broad categories 
(drama, public affairs, experimental and 
documentary) without relying on strained 
themes like "Matters of Life and Death," 
and press for PBS commitment to provide 
a regular time slot to showcase the 
resulting work. 

4. CREATE AN INDEPENDENT CON- 
SORTIUM. Press for the establishment 
of a new "consortium" devoted exclusive- 
ly to independent production, to be pro- 
grammed in a regular slot on the PBS 
schedule. 

5. EXPAND THE ROLE OF TV LAB. Urge 

CPB to satisfy its commitment to smaller 
independents through increased funding 
to WNET's TV Lab, expanding the range of 
work to include drama, public affairs and 
experimental work, in addition to 
documentary (Independent Documentary 
Fund). 

6. CREATE A CENTER FOR INDEPEN- 
DENT TELEVISION. Revive the recom- 
mendation of the Carnegie Commission 
that Congress establish a National Center 
for Independent Television. Press for a 
substantial budget (this time specific!) 
and staff the Center with independents. 



makers and those concerned with the issues, 
rather than station personnel." 

Unfortunately, the series will be acquiring 
work, not commissioning it, so the expected 
$l million budget divided among 26 programs 
sounds like the usual slender payment to in- 
dies. Another disturbing aspect of the concept 
is Mears' description of the scope of his "free- 
speech" idea. Speaking of his choices for 
7DW, the broadcaster said he solicited 



materials from the most extreme sources im- 
aginable — including the National Rifle 
Association, the Ku Klux Klan and the Soviet 
government. To many indies at the con- 
ference, this list of potential contents threw a 
strange light on their contributions. Isn't it a 
bit insulting to equate an NRA propaganda 
piece with a carefully researched independent 
documentary? Do indies really need to be 
rounded up in a "we are all nuts here on Hyde 
Park corner" package? Mears demurs, ex- 
plaining that he is committed to passionate 
statements of all kinds, and that his letters 
from Maine viewers indicated that they were 
perfectly capable of recognizing the distinc- 
tion between a Right to Hunt (NRA) and 
Soldier Girls. I suspect he will be hearing from 
the indie community. 

During the "Options" session, Ron Hull 
announced that he respected peer panels but 
would make final decisions himself on what 
suited "our current needs" when spending the 
"Open Solicitation" pot. As the final 
speaker, AIVF chair Lillian Jimenez had a 
chance to ask Hull for his definition of an 
"independent." He didn't have one, replied 
the Program Fund head, elaborating that sta- 
tion people think independently too, so they 
are also independents. Jimenez barely had 
time to go through her laundry list of 
criticisms, concerns and action plans in her 
final wrap-up. Highlights included a critique 
of the lack of "a sweeping policy to get pro- 
grams on the air" from the PTV people pre- 
sent, acknowledgment of improvement in the 
amount of minority programming funded at 
CPB, questioning of the absence of Native 
and Asian-Americans on the panels and a 
threat to litigate if CPB doesn't heed its 
responsibilities to indies. She finished by say- 
ing that indies mean business and will lobby 
PTV's grassroots constituency to see that 
PTV complies with its diversity mandate. The 
conference closed with an invitation to indies 
to caucus upstairs in the John F. Kennedy 
Center's cocktail lounge. 

CAUCUS 

By the time people gathered upstairs, 
everyone was fed-up and hot to devise a 
political strategy to counteract the futile, 
tutorial ambiance of the conference. One pro- 
ducer remarked that "they used to beat us 
with the Fairness Doctrine, and 'journalistic 
standards' is simply a new version of the 
stick." Barry Chase's suggestion that indies 
join PTV in lobbying Congress to expand the 
pie was generally agreed with; debate focused 
on how to draw up clear agreements so indies 
wouldn't be double-crossed in such an 
alliance. Localism — both decentralizing the 
lobbying of elected officials and rallying sup- 
port from grassroots audiences — were two 
key strategies advocated. The approximately 
20 producers assembled agreed that 
preparation should be done in time to use the 
June 8-1 1 Minneapolis National Association 
of Media Arts Centers meeting as an organiz- 
ing opportunity. 



THE INDEPENDENT 



SUSAN 
BODINE 

ESQ. 

• 

PROVIDING 

REASONABLY PRICED 

QUALITY 

LEGAL SERVICES 

IN THE ENTERTAINMENT AREA 

AND TO THE 

INDEPENDENT HLM & VIDEO 

COMMUNITY 

NO CHARGE FOR 
INITIAL CONSULTATION 



551 FIFTH AVENUE 
NEW YORK, NY 10176 

212 • 986 • 0820 



COMPLETE 

VIDEO 

SERVICES 



PRODUCTION PACKAGE 

2 NEW JVC 1900 CAMERAS W/ JVC 4400 

RECORDER, SENNHEISER & TRAM, 

MICROPHONES, L0WEL-D LIGHTS 

MILLER TRIPOD W/ TECHNICIAN 



POST-PRODUCTION 

JVC %" & NEW VHS TAPE HANDLER, W/ 

CHARACTER GENERATOR. GRAPHICS CAMERA. 

C0L0RIZER/KEYER, PR0C AMP, 6 CHANNEL 

STEREO MIXER W/ GRAPHIC EQUALIZER 



TECHNICAL CONSULTATION & 
COORDINATION OF ALL PRODUCTION 
& POST-PRODUCTION NEEDS. 
10% Discount to AIVF Members 



ROUGH-CUT 

VIDEO SERVICES 



212-242-1914 



CONCLUSIONS 

Despite its deficiencies, the Washington 
conference is having some positive results, 
when considered in conjunction with the mili- 
tant mood of the March AIVF membership 
meeting. Alerted to their retarded views on 
media objectivity, we can confront PBS 
gatekeepers' judgments head-on, armed with 
formal- and content-based arguments. Third, 
it's clear that AIVF had better think about 
holding its own national conventions if it 
wants substantive discussion of indie issues. 



And finally, it struck home that we must 
organize nationally to marshal the support of 
our grassroots allies — the people in libraries, 
union halls, associations, schools, movie 
theaters and (sometimes) PTV who watch us 
and endorse our media work. 
PS: It doesn 't end here. A draft of a national 
position paper to lay the groundwork for ac- 
tion will be circulating during the summer 
months. Look for an article on the history of 
1978 indie legislative success in an upcoming 
Independent: if we did it then, we can do it 
again. ■ 



SUPERS 



B & T's International 
Snapshot Album 

BOB BRODSKY & TONI TREADWAY 



Now that Super-8 products are virtually un- 
supported by advertising and are fast disap- 
pearing from retail display cases, people who 
want to use this medium are forced to do what 
artists and professionals in almost every other 
low-profile field are required to do: get con- 
nected. Get connected to reliable sources of 
information and supplies, and maintain these 
connections. So here at the edge of summer 
are our leads: 

The Montreal Super-8 Festival, occurring 
in February, is one of the best places to see 
how competent Super-8 origination has be- 
come, on an international scale. Films are 
projected with consistent care. About half 
those shown over the five days are edited 
camera originals; the other half are divided 
among prints in Super-8, 16 and 35mm. 
Screen images are all the same size and almost 
the same brightness. The audio is clean and 
full. Super-8-as-video takes a back seat but 
gets a large audience, too. 

What makes a festival like Montreal's so 
important is the international context it 
creates. Because the economies of Super-8 in- 
vite a maximum degree of personalization, ex- 
perimentation and individualization, we came 
away with the feeling that we had been invited 
into homes — apartments, tenements, ateliers, 
studios — of over a dozen nations. Many of 
these experiences are backed up by the 
presence of the filmmakers, brought to Mon- 
treal by the Festival's management through a 
grant from the provincial government. 
French, English and Spanish are prevalent 
languages, and everyone makes heroic efforts 
to understand and be understood in unfam- 
iliar tongues. Tread way has made real strides 
in technical French, and now feels competent 
enough to give workshops. Spanish is next for 
her. Brodsky, bearing only extinct languages, 
has plunged into Portuguese, but after four 
days in Montreal was attempting "breakfast 



French." These efforts to speak in the 
language of another are received as gestures 
of genuine goodwill, and they maintain the 
framework on which the festival proceeds. 

La Federation Tunisienne des Cineastes 
Amateurs was represented at the Festival by 
Ridhe ben Halima and Rafik Staali. The 
Tunisian Federation is comprised of 20 cine- 
clubs spread throughout several regions. 
Ridhe and Rafik told us that their more than 
500 members have produced an average of 1 5 
films each year since the '60s. The organiza- 
tion is centralized in a bi-annual film/video 
festival in Kelibia, out of which they also run 
workshops in still photography, video and 
Super-8 film. They accomplish all this with 
four cameras and a $10,000 annual grant 
from their government. The two new films 
they brought to the Festival were ample 
evidence that Super-8 was serving a unique 
and important function in Tunisia — a pur- 
pose the filmmakers describe as follows: 

1. To liberate creative initiatives within the 
Federation and to organize them through 
democratic decision-making for the elabora- 
tion of cultural choices. 2. To nurture quality 
production and aid in creating a cinematic 
language that is true to popular aspirations. 
3. To gain the participation of a wide range 
of the population in the Federation (students, 
workers, peasants etc.) in the planning, pro- 
duction, distribution, criticism, training and 
administration of the media. 4. To contribute 
to the creation of a democratic national 
cultural front which will aid in coordinating 
efforts of other sectors of Tunisian life to 
create alternative cultural models. 

The international section of the Montreal 
Festival was judged by Lisette Castillo of 
Venezuela, Romano Fattorossi of Italy, Yves 
Simoneau of Canada, ben Halim and Tread- 
way. From seven hours of films in the running 

JUNE •1963 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ten; then by patient discussion four were 
esteemed superior; and finally, two were 
selected to share the top prize: Butterfly by 
Venezuelan Marietta Perez, a forceful tale of 
a woman who aspires to sing the role of 
Madama Butterfly, and Celebrity, a 
breathtaking animation by American Martin 
Fischer. 

A second prize was split between Saudade, 
a baroque melodrama by Brazilians Carlos 
Ponte De Andrade Jr. and Leonardo Cresenti 
Neto, and Le Jardin, a hyperbolic bilingual 
experimental film by Canadian Raphael Ben- 
dahan. Honorable mention from the jury 
went to American Dave Forthey, who made 
his camera float effortlessly behind the heels 
of a mountain trail runner in Higher Ground. 
Apparently, people are still experimenting 
seriously and achieving results in Super-8. 
The Montreal Super-8 Festival pulls it all 
together. 

FIELD PROCESSING 

At the insistence of some ethnographic 
filmmakers in Europe and North America, 
we've been experimenting with field process- 
ing of Super-8. People have been processing 
their own films for 150 years, but since Kodak 
stuffed Super-8 into cartridges, fewer film- 
makers have attempted it. They have also 
been scared off by warnings about precision 
in time and temperature control, prevention 
of scratches and dust-free drying. Our tack 
has been to see what kind of results we could 
obtain if we plunged in with minimal equip- 
ment, minimal controls and minimal purity in 
the water we used and the air we dried in. For 
less than $125 we purchased a bag full of stuff 
and some E-6 chemicals and found that we 
could produce acceptable results on both 
Kodak Ektachrome 7244 and Fuji R-50 and 
R-200 stocks. The Fuji results were particular- 
ly gratifying, because Fuji Single-8 film is 
manufactured on a polyester base, which 
greatly extends the life of the camera original. 
In a future article we'll detail the equipment 
and the process. Costs can drop to as low as 
$2/50 ' with over-the-counter chemicals, bu* 
cost is not the primary reason for field pro 
cessing. 

CORPORATE NOTE 

Once again, for those concerned that 
Super-8 is a rapidly vanishing medium, five 
Kodak executives told us when we visited late 
last fall that Super-8 is likely to be around for 
a very long time. Inasmuch as there is no 
longer any advertising support, the channels 
of distribution will become narrower, but the 
quality of the service should remain high. 
Kodak executives, like almost all the 
managers of large organizations, view the 
world as so many different markets, and 
sometimes their decisions are based more on 
their own wish lists than on data from con- 
sumers. Kodak has just begun to realizes that 
the people who buy 50 ' Super-8 cartridges of 
Kodachrome 40 are also likely to buy 200 ' 
JUNE* 1983 



BULLETIN BOARD 

BULLETIN 

We appreciate receiving notices for 
posting from AIVF members. Please con- 
tinue to keep us aware of available ser- 
vices, screenings, festivals, job openings, 
and miscellaneous information! In order to 
keep the bulletin boards neat and all notices 
visible, we will remove posted material after 
two months unless otherwise noted. If you 
wish to keep a notice posted continuously, 
please send us a periodic reminder. 



cartridges of the same stock (inasmuch as 
200 ' cameras have sold widely over the past 
five years). Until recently, these two different 
lengths of the the same stock were sold by two 
different divisions of EK Co., and dealers 
could not easily make both lengths available 
to purchasers. Expediting the flow of goods 
and services is a high priority for the conti- 
nuance of Super-8. 

PRIME FUNDING 

Another marketing story comes from the 
producer's end of the medium. In March, 
Prime Computer sponsored Christ Knight's 
American Challenge nationally on PBS. The 
one-hour-long compilation of self-portraits 
of seven solo sailors racing from England to 
the US was 80% Super-8 originated. An ex- 
cerpt of the film — a woman sailor's dismast- 
ing — was aired last summer on Walter 
Cronkite's Universe on CBS. 

Associate producer and management con- 
sultant Paul de Give explained how he put 
together the deal. After working for almost 6 
months and contacting 100 corporations, he 
found Prime Computer, which saw American 
Challenge as an attractive promotional vehi- 
cle. The people at Prime liked the sailing 
theme and the individual heroism portrayed 
in the film. Also, the public response has been 
very positive. When Prime Computer did a di- 
rect mailing of 50,000 pieces offering a free 
poster, they got more than 5,000 requests. 

First place winner Phil Weld had 18 S-8 cameras on 
board during the 1980 Observer Singlehanded Trans- 
Atlantic Race. From the 16mm & S-8 films which were 
aired on CBS and PBS. 



With this sale, the film has reached the 
break-even point for its private backer. In- 
terestingly, Chris Knight noted that the 
shadow detail of the image on the Cronkite 
show was superior to the PBS airing. For 
Cronkite, Knight went back to the Super-8 
original for direct transfer to video. For PBS 
he turned over a 16mm print for them to 
transfer. Some sharpness is lost in blowup of 
the Super-8. Knight feels the best quality 
video comes from direct transfer of the 
Super-8 original. 

NEWS FLASHES 

Last year a multinational peace walk from 
the West Coast to Moscow (via Ireland, 
Scotland-England and Western Europe) was 
documented in Super-8 by one of the walkers, 
Carol Bellin of Boston. At present the group 
is encamped on the Czech border during 
lengthy negotiations with Czech, Polish and 
Russian authorities for on-foot over-the- 
ground travel permits. Support is meager and 
Carol is looking for funds to complete the 
film saga. A 501. C. 3 conduit is available to 
readers who could underwrite completion. 

A Spanish edition of B & T's Super 8 in the 
Video Age should be forthcoming by the end 
of the year. Kino Garcia has overseen the 
translation with his film club in Puerto Rico. 

Finally, an important warning: Don't ship 
films or videotapes in fiber-filled mailers. 
During shipment the bags often rupture inter- 
nally, releasing the fine abrasive packing. It 
works its way into film containers and video- 
cassettes. Video decks as well as tapes can be 
permanently damaged by the fibers. So use 
regular corrugated or plastic packing . ■ 

Toni Treadway and Bob Brodsky are 
Super-8 activists and teachers, and Treadway 
is on the Board of the Boston Film /Video 
Foundation. 






THE INDEPENDENT 



BOOKS 



In Search 

of Visual Music 



REYNOLD WEIDENAAR 

Digital Harmony: 

On the Complementarity 

of Music and Visual Art 

By John Whitney. Illustrated. 235 pp. Byte 
Books (McGraw-Hill). $21.95. 

In Digital Harmony, John Whitney has 
given us an exhilarating but also somewhat 
technical primer on the union of abstract im- 
age and music. It is of supreme concern to 
film and videomakers because it grapples with 
the nature of structure and shape in time. 
Some understanding of music and composi- 
tion would probably enhance the reader's en- 
joyment of the book, but is not required, as 
Whitney presumes no advanced knowledge of 
music. The reader's understanding would 
doubtless be further heightened by seeing 
several Whitney motion pictures: Permuta- 
tions (1968), Matrix I, II (1971) and 777 (1972), 
A rabesque ( 1 975) and Permutations II ( 1 979) . 
This last is video; the others are films shot 
frame-by-frame with a 16mm camera aimed 
at a computer-controlled video screen. In 
these works, moving patterns take fantastic 
shapes, whirling and turning in dances of pure 
unfettered flight. Gravity is abolished, and 
the viewer is caught up in a soaring, fanciful 
vortex that is absolutely convincing as 
another world. 

It is therefore somewhat disconcerting to 
learn that, for all the talk about balanced 
partnership, the accompanying music is not a 
simultaneous conception. Whitney searches 
for his music after the visuals are completed. 
He has fitted such diverse works onto his 
sound tracks as Terry Riley's A Rainbow in 
Curved Air, Antonio Soler sonatas, Indian 
tabla music, Iranian santir music and a com- 
missioned score by William Kraft. 

John Whitney first tried his hand at com- 
posing "visual music" in 1938, aboard a 
freighter bound for Rotterdam. He focused 
his 8mm camera at the geometrical structures 
of the ship, filming the rivets, the white iron 
plates and their shifting shadows. He twisted 
and turned his camera, then rhythmically 
edited his shots, but all to no avail: "That film 
was unrhythmic and depressingly 
unmusical." Thus began humbly the career of 
one of the leading film artists of our time. 

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE 

Back in America a year later, Whitney 
10 



found out that Oskar Fischinger, Walther 
Ruttman and other "symphonist" film- 
makers had preceded him in the search for "li- 
quid architecture." They had also 
failed — finding poetry, perhaps, but not 
music. Whitney's seminal insight was to 
recognize that any film that is chained to the 
world's mass and gravity, to its inertia, can 
never achieve the totally fluid motion of 
music. 

In 1944, John and his brother James 
Whitney completed their innovative and 
radical Five Abstract Film Exercises. At the 
same time they wrote a brief and strikingly 
prescient article on audiovisual music. It 
defines basic issues of the new medium: har- 
mony and unity of visual and musical feeling, 
the differences in aural and visual responses 
to rhythm, the relation of graphic space to 
time, the textural role of color and the pitfalls 
of mechanistically translating music into a 
visual "equivalent." This new art was to be 
neither more nor less abstract and substantial 
than music itself. 

The reader could do no better than to start 
with the beginning of the appendix before 
turning to the main text. This appendix, ex- 
ceeding a third of the book, is a chronological 
collection of 14 articles and interviews in 
which we are given a focused illumination of 
the flow and development of John Whitney's 
ideas over the years. They identify his ap- 
proaches, limitations and influences; they 
follow his progress in apparatus and working 
methods. Two must be singled out as central 
to the concerns of this book, and are more 
taut and concise than the later writing. 

In the first, "Cranbrook Essay" (1973), 
Whitney relates his response to "the extreme 
subtleties of a quite beautiful, dynamic 
phenomenon of nature . . . the turbulent ac- 
tivity of minute water particles that anyone 
can see in the space of about a cubic foot of 
densely foggy and quiet nighttime air 
— assuming exactly the right lighting condi- 
tions... They do not collide; they flow in 
casual turbulence, moving freely and smooth- 
ly in all directions ... a fantastic complex of 
interactive forces of unfathomable precision 
and curvilinear hyperdynamism." For 
Whitney, this became the one experience of 
visible nature in motion that was on a com- 
parably elevated aesthetic plane with 
polyphonic music. Admitting that this could 
not encompass all the elements of music, he 



cites the "spatial interweaving of clean, 
delineated pattern" and the "forces of order- 
ly relationship" as primary components. 
Even without understanding the physics 
governing such motion, one could apprehend 
"its sophisticated conformity to rule. This fits 
my ideal of what music should be like." Fur- 
thermore, "dozens of composers over several 
centuries in Europe have repeatedly confirm- 
ed that ideal," though we are not told exactly 
how. This vision became the cornerstone of 
Whitney's career: "The manipulation of par- 
ticles in space has become the very foundation 
of my theoretical, philosophical and practical 
approach to computer art." We are reminded 
that television and film images can ultimately 
be broken down into single points, arranged 
by either intensity or density. Hence, "if we 
gain mastery over the manipulation of a 
plurality of points, it follows that we may rule 
the universe of visual display." 

AESTHETICS OF OFFBEAT 

Whitney presents his theory of visual 
display in nutshell as part of a later essay, 
"Digital Pyrotechnics" (1977). By way of 
preface: most musicians are at least dimly 
aware of an acoustical phenomenon called the 
"harmonic series." A string on, say, a violin 
will vibrate at many different frequences 
simultaneously — all of them integral (whole- 
number) multiples of the fundamental (low- 
est) frequency. Each separate vibration is a 
harmonic (overtone). Their loudnesses vary, 



"do" 



'sol' 



"fa' 




"do- 
Sine curve pattern of first twelve harmonics 
superimposed, complemented by the seven steps of 
the musical scale. 

JUNE •1983 



but their frequency ratios to the fundamental 
and to each other are firmly fixed. If we write 
out the notes corresponding to the musical 
pitches of these harmonics, we have a 
representation of the harmonic series. It pro- 
ceeds up from wide to narrow intervals, 
beginning with the simple frequency ratios 
that provide the more consonant musical in- 
tervals — octave, fifth, fourth, major 
third — of our musical scale. Going higher up 
the series, the ratios gradually become more 
complex. The intervals become smaller and 
more dissonant, such as the major and minor 
second. 

The consonances and dissonances of these 
scale intervals may easily be demonstrated on 
a stringed instrument or a synthesizer. Tune a 
unison, hold the first tone steady and slowly 
sound the other tone, gliding up smoothly to 
the octave. There will be alternating regions 
of roughness and smoothness, of rapid 
"beats" and then a stilling of the beats. Con- 
sonant intervals are thus approached and 
achieved. To Whitney, these "phenomena 
create discontinuities, as nodules of tension, 
anticipation and resolution deform this other- 
wise smooth continuum. It is this particular 
discontinuity, not really any other quality of 
the audio spectrum, that constitutes the raw 
material of the composer's art. Not pitch, tex- 
ture, rhythm and meter. Not frequency, in- 
tensity and density, as most 20th-century 
modernists would have us believe." Well 
now. Whitney probably doesn't want a job 
teaching musical composition anyway. 

This principle of consonance and 
dissonance carries over to visual perception, 
as a "phenomenon of hierarchical distribu- 
tion and classification of elements into an ar- 
ray in which all are ranked according to some 
perceptual scale of complexity." In other 
words, moving patterns are governed by an 
order/disorder principle. This is easily achiev- 
ed by causing different points to move at dif- 
ferent rates according to ratios found in the 
harmonic series. 

The chapter entitled "The Problem: How 
Shall Motion Pattern Time?" details the ap- 
plication of harmonics to graphic elements. 
Each element, each dot, for example, moves 
at a different rate, but the rates are har- 
monically related. "If one element were set to 
move at a given rate, the next element might 
be moved at two times that rate. Then the 
third would move at three times that rate and 
so on. So long as all elements obey a rule of 
direction and rate, then pattern configura- 
tions form and reform." This is differential 
motion. Such motion will proceed to points of 
resolution (or resonance), where the visual 
pattern becomes orderly. This occurs at the 
various simple fractional intervals (1/8, 14 
etc.) of the entire cycle of motion. If this cycle 
is run to completion, all the dots would return 
to their starting positions. These phenomena 
characterize visual harmony. 

POINT OF SUSPENSE 

Whitney's prescription for reckoning with 
JUNE* 1983 




DflniSH f OUPERBAG 

"An amazing amount of space!" 

— NEW YORK TIMES 

These practical Danish School Bags fea- 
ture six handy pockets, expandable 
sides, sturdy straps; wear like cold-rolled 
steel; will organize your life; are gener- 
ally splendiferous. Also, other Danish 
School Bag carriers make interesting din- 
ner companions. Perfect carry-on' flight 
bag, sensible gift. Brown, Black, Grey, 
Turquoise, Bright Blue, Orangey Red. 
$49.50, plus $3.00 shipping. 

THE CHOCOLATE SOUP 

946 Madison Avenue, New York 10021 







29th STREET 
VIDEO, Inc. 

"Where quality comes first*" 

3/4" PRODUCTION 

• Broadcast: Ikegami HL 79 
Camera, Sony BVCJ 110 
Decks, mics, etc. 

• Industrial: JVC KY 2000 
Camera, Sony 4800 Deck, mics, 
etc. 

3/4" POST PRODUCTION 

• New Sony VO 5850's & RM 440 

• Microgen Character Generator 
w/border, 10 colors, 16 page 
memory, 10 rolls & crawl speeds 

• Special Effects Generator, 
Fade to Black & Wipe capabilities 

• Proc Amp 

• Complete Sound Service 

At 29th STREET VIDEO, Inc., we 

work with you and your budget. We 
share your commitment to get the 
message across - with style, with tech- 
nical proficiency, and within budget. 

For more information 
call David or Tami: 

(212)594-7530 



tit 



^ 



For the Personal Touch 

Full Service Film Lab 
Personalized Timing 
Fast Turnaround 




YOURSELF TO 




619 WEST 54th STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 1 001 9 
(212)977-8980 



^ 



& 



11 



THE INDEPENDENT 




"A" 

Square 
Productions 

3 A" EDITING 

■ ECS 103 A ■ Sony 5850 

■ SEG ■ TBC 

■ Character Generator 

* SPECIAL • 
Introductory rate: 

$0^ per hour 
OU with editor 

PRODUCTION: 

■ JVC KY1900 

■ Sony VO4800 
Shotgun mic 

■ Lavaliers 
Omni Lights 
$50 per hr 
$400 daily 



2130 Broadway (West 75th St.) 
New York, N.Y. 10023 
212 595-6663 




16mm FACILITIES: 



I, Optically Tested, & 
GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 
3/4* Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



FRESH < we >h, P on ne »' bus/plane out) 

Scotch 'n Kodak 

AFTER HOURS/ 



475-7884 



time, "to anticipate the next moment and to 
gratify the expectations raised by the moment 
just past," can easily deteriorate into a merely 
mechanical formula that lacks any suspense (a 
very major component of music). Most 
crucial of all is another missing principle: So 
much of our response to music is due to the 
composer's violations, sometimes very slight, 
of our expectations. In other words, a musical 
progression is pointing to a concluding event 
which the listener aurally anticipates. Instead 
of reaching this target of least resistance, the 
progression is somehow deflected in its 
resolution. Thus arise the might and power of 
expression and emotional response. If visual 
music is to be a true analogue to pure music, 
these issues must be addressed. How does an 
abstract succession of pretty points become 
aesthetically meaningful? What makes it 
more than a pleasurable sensation, a kind of 
audiovisual cotton candy, a fleeting delight? 

The answer has to be more than structured 
differential harmonic motion in a ten- 
sion/release hierarchy. These are stylistic 
elements, comparable to the mechanics of 
musical counterpoint. They work well; in 
fact, with great elegance. But good counter- 
point is not automatically great music. The 
larger issue of how motion may pattern time 
on higher levels still remains. How does the 
visual/musical filmmaker learn fluency in 
time: the flawless sense of when to go in, how 
long to take, when to arrive, to say nothing of 
the small and large detours and substitutions, 
the variations in nuance and detail along the 
way? 

To be fair, it must be noted that the book is 
called Digital Harmony, not Digital Com- 
position. As such, it admirably fulfills the role 
of a technical guide, even if it skirts certain 
topics too quickly. The term "digital," by the 
way, refers to Whitney's conviction that only 
a computer can order and arrange the hun- 
dreds of elements of differential visual mo- 
tion. There is no tolerance here for the "im- 
precise, uncontrolled, accidental" nature of 
most video art, which betrays not a clue of 
how to shape time. The usual result is 
formless, a "bland pastel stupor." 

The remaining chapters supply detailed 
descriptions of differential motion, an ex- 
planation of radial and angular motion and a 
very few thoughts on the role of color. 
Whitney then treats us to a detailed analysis 
of his recent tour deforce, Arabesque, which 
alone is worth the price of the book. Dozens 
of gorgeous color illustrations abound here 
and elsewhere. 

Whitney concludes with a listing of Pascal 
computer programs, adapted for the Apple 
II, for differential points on a straight line 
modulus, on a polar coordinate field and 
around a circle x-step modulus. His tone 
throughout the book is opinionated but 
generous, if sometimes curmudgeonly; but 
never too proud to allow an occasional self- 
doubt, and unfailingly willing to impart 
whatever he can to enable other filmmakers to 
work in his medium. These programs, ready 
to run, show that his support isn't just lip ser- 



vice. The do-it-yourselfer with a step-frame 
film camera and small computer controlling a 
video screen can load up and start shooting. 
The student who turns to the book as to a 
master teacher for a wealth of practical 
guidance cannot fail to gain a fuller apprecia- 
tion of the magnificent potential of Unking 
front-line technololgy with old-fashioned 
craft in the service of high artistic aims. ■ 

Reynold Weidenaar was recently granted 
an NEA Fellowship; his abstract 
visual /musical film Wavelines II has received 
fifteen awards. He teaches at New York 
University. 



MEMBER DISCOUNTS 

AIVF is pleased to announce the initiation 
of a discount program of film and video pro- 
duction services for its members in the New 
York area. The companies listed below will 
offer discounts to AIVF members upon 
presentation of a membership card. We 
hope that this program will foster closer 
cooperation between independent pro- 
ducers and companies that provide produc- 
tion services. 

20120 Productions 
Tom Garber 

1 74 Spring St. 

New York (212) 966-2971 

10% discount on all 3 A " and '/? " shooting 
packages. 

Editing facilities also available. Please call for cur- 
rent rates. 

TVC Labs 

Roseann Schaeffer, VP Sales 

311 West 43 St. 

New York (212) 397-8600 

Negotiable discounts on services 

Camera Mart 

Leo Rosenberg, Rental Manager 

456 West 55 St. 

New York (212) 757-6977 

20% discount on all rentals of film and video 
equipment, with some specific exceptions. Larger 
discounts may be available for rentals of long dura- 
tion or for favorable payment terms. 

Raflk 

814 Broadway 

New York (212) 475-91 10 

25% discount on straight rental of screening 
room, rentals on cameras and sales of used 
videocassettes. 15% discount on use of editing 
facilities. All other supplies at discount rates; 
special deals available. 

Rough Cut Video Services 
Jack Walworth 

129 West 22 St. 
New York (212) 242-1914 

10% across-the-board discount on all services, in- 
cluding 3 A " productions, 3 /< " editing and VHS to 
% " transfers. 

AIVF would like to thank these companies 
for participating. Any other firms who wish to 
be included, please call (212) 473-3400. 



12 



JUNE* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Video Engineering, 
An Insider's Story 

• 

John J. Godfrey demystifies broadcast-quality 

standards, reveals how to placate video editors and 

predicts a future of digital razzmatazz. 



In the realm of video, noted for its rapidly 
changing technologies, indies are both 
privileged and disadvantaged: Privileged 
because constant equipment innovation 
means new potentials to be explored; disad- 
vantaged because when the average outside 
producer presents material to a station, even a 
public TV engineering staff tends to look 
down on the slightly obsolescent tools of last 
year. 

John J. Godfrey, Emmy award-winning 
editor and a supervising engineer for 12 years 
at WNET/13 in New York, not only wit- 
nessed a decade of technological change; he 
played a leading role in helping indies explore 
it. In fact, he aided many independent pro- 
ducers in getting their tapes, usually con- 
sidered "unsuitable for broadcast, " on the 
air. He has worked with countless video 
pioneers on PTV from Nam June Paik and 
Ed Emshwiller to such documentary video 
classics as TVTV's Gerald Ford's America 
and DCTV's Third Avenue. This is in addi- 
tion to editing Bill Moyers ' Journal, Dance in 
America and the like. 

Since he has no formal training in elec- 
tronics, Godfrey is himself in a good position 
to demystify the technology. One of his 
earliest memories is of watching a sportscast 
in 1956 and running into the kitchen yelling 
"it's videotape, it's videotape!" to his puzz- 
led mother. After a start in electrical engineer- 
ing at Purdue University, he switched to 
speech and theater. Meanwhile he nourished 
his obsession with videotape by hovering 
around the various TV systems at the univer- 
sity, including an airborne TV transmitter. 
For three years he spent his nights duplicating 
videotapes. It was then that he developed an 
eye for the difference between the master and 
the copy that everyone (except the tape editor 
and copy engineer) sees. 

In 1981, Godfrey left Channel 13 and the 
TV Lab for a rest. True to form, he was soon 
caught up in another project: Electric Films 
Inc., a 3 A" and Betacam-to-1 " post- 
production suite, which he started with Jon 
Alpert (of Downtown Community TV) after 
they heard about a bargain deal on a 1" tape 
machine which they later expanded into a full 
CMX system. 

JUNE •1983 



SKIP BLUMBERG 

In the following interview, Godfrey speaks 
of broadcast-quality video standards, offers 
advice to the indie preparing to enter the 
editing room, and makes some predictions 
about the direction of video technology. — KH 

SKIP BLUMBERG: When you started at 
WNET back in 1972, the TV Lab was the 
most experimental department in broadcast 
TV. Let's flash back to that, since you saw the 
introduction of quite a few different pieces of 
equipment. What were the changes and how 
did they affect the programs you saw? 

JOHN J. GODFREY: Initially it was the in- 
troduction of the Sony Vi " reel-to-reel 
videotape recorder around 1967, because that 
allowed you to have, in essence, a Super-8 
video camera in your hand — better than 
Super-8 quality, though, because it gave you a 
long, long recording capability, rather than 



2Vi minutes. But the introduction of the 
digital wide-windowed time-base corrector 
in 1973 was the most significant thing that 
happened. 

SB: Meaning what? 

JJG: All mechanical devices have jitter. To 
get a broadcastable TV picture, you must con- 
tain the errors within the given standard. 
Well, the best 2 " machine was capable of con- 
trolling only 1 millionth of a second of jitter. 
That was a beautifully milled chunk of steel 
with beautifully controlled electronics con- 
trolling motors. Half-inch could have up to 30 
microseconds of error in it, even more when 
you are swinging the recorder around. They 
had to develop time-base error correctors, to 
correct that mechanical jitter electronically. 
The biggest advancement came with the 
digital time-base corrector, not so much to be 




John J. Godfrey with the first available model digital Time Base Corrector which was installed at the TV-Lab and 
was the first machine put to work in New York. 

13 



THE INDEPENDENT 



able to digitize the video, but to store the 
video digitally. So you could store one, two or 
three lines of video, which means that you 
could have lots of error and still clock it out at 
the right time. As a friend of mine put it, then 
you "could take unstable poor-quality Vi " 
videotape and turn it into stable poor-quality 
Vi "videotape." 

SB: So you started to see new programming. 
Did it change TV? 

JJG: It did change the way you were able to 
follow a story. The Vi " equipment allowed 
you to take the camera to the people because 
it was a small, light portable. But it was not 
acceptable, according to the engineers, 
because the resolution was bad. And most 
engineers would say the "people operating 
these Mickey Mouse cameras have no 
business operating them." They just had pro- 
gramming ideas, but they didn't know 
anything technical. 

SB: It allowed people who had never had any 
experience before to start making shows. 

JJG: Right. 

SB: Some people emerged who did have 
technical skills and were learning to use this 
equipment to tell stories in new ways. And 
yet, it seemed at the time that there was 
almost a conspiracy of technocrats trying to 
keep this material off the air. 

JJG: Yeah, there was. 

SB: From your point of view, what was going 
on? 

JJG: Of course I saw it from both sides, 
because I'd been involved in attempting to get 
even Vi " videotape up to 2 " videotape before 
a TBC existed — back in 1970 or so. I went 
from the original Vi " to a 1 " IVC helical VTR 
(which had a wider-windowed servo) through 
an Ampex AVR-1 buffer, and finally to 
another A VR-1. 

SB: I heard a story once where Mai Albaum, 
I think, said that the engineer's favorite TV 
show is "bars and tones." 

JJG: The closest thing to perfect video is col- 
or bars. But there is never perfect video. 
We're striving to get it that way, and the 
quality has increased tremendously over the 
years. It's surprising, the quality we used to 
accept, if you take a look at some of the old 
videotaped shows. The old Image Orthicon 
cameras had a horrendous halo. You would 
see a black halo around a person and then a 
white halo around the black halo. And that 
was perfectly acceptable because that's what 
the Image Orthicon tube did; that's what was 
available. 

SB: In other words, the engineers would ac- 
cept what was then state-of-the-art? 
14 



JJG: Whatever was the best. But they 
wouldn't accept anything less or equal to the 
standard of a few years before. 

SB: So they saw the early Vi " video as 
degrading the picture? 

JJG: Degrading the picture, and degrading 
the attempts they had made to improve the 
picture. That was the big problem, and is still 
the problem today. Right now 3 A " is domi- 
nant for news production. 

SB: When did 3 A " come in as a broadcast for- 
mat? 



WE'LL ACCEPT 
YOUR PROPOSAL!! 

AIVF is seeking model proposals to be 
placed in our funding research files for 
reference. Do you have a project propos- 
al which has been submitted to a funding 
agency and has — or should have! — re- 
ceived support? It could be a valuable 
resource for new filmmakers just getting 
into the funding struggle. Don 't be shy. 
Say "I will. " Send us your model propos- 
als (or your not-so-model proposals and 
include a brief critique). AIVF, 625 Broad- 
way, NY NY 10012, (212) 473-3400. 



JJG: Three-quarter-inch really came in as a 
usable format around 1974/5. It existed 
before that, but was not that usable, because 
the machines were not servo-locked. Al- 
though the 3 A " was designed as a home video 
unit, it sold for $1,500 — way out of the reach 
of most people. Who was going to buy a home 
videotape machine for over a month's pay? 

SB: So first it was the artists and the in- 
dependents who could afford to take a 
chance, only because they were lunatics? 

JJG: In a way. Somebody who has low- 
budget funding like from NEA or NYSCA 
doesn't expect broadcast costs. For broadcast 
costs, you're talking about $4,000 to $8,000 a 
minute for a show. These people were used to 
producing programs for $500 a minute or less. 

SB: Or $500 for the whole show! 

JJG: So it was perfectly acceptable for them 
to say: "Fine. $3,000 for a camera and a video 
recorder is not an unmanageable fund of 
money." 

SB: In other words, the independents started 
using this equipment before it became broad- 
cast standard? 

JJG: It became standard later on because the 
manufacturers of the 3 A " machine saw a 
market. 

SB: So for now, 3 A " videotape is the standard 
for news and independents? 



JJG: Yes, but the compromise has been on 
resolution. The band width of 3 A " is half that 
of 1 " or 2" videotapes. Consequently you do 
not get the resolution that you get with the less 
portable recorders. 

SB: But we are talking about broadcast- 
quality tapes. What are the major problems 
that you currently see in the editing room, and 
what are the things that you correct? Is it 
matching flesh tones, is it blanking problems? 



JJG: It's funny, but I don't have that many 
problems. I have problems where people are 
still trying to be a little too cheap, still wanting 
to use industrial-grade 3 A " as opposed to 
broadcast -quality 3 A ". They don't want to go 
that extra $3,000. 

SB: What's the advantage? 

JJG: The first advantage is that you satisfy 
PBS' stipulation about the head-switching 
line in the video. It's perfectly acceptable on 
cable; the networks don't care about it; the 
FCC may growl a little. But PBS cares about 
head switching in the transmitted picture. 

SB: But you can adjust industrial video 
recorders to get head switching down into ver- 
tical blanking. 

JJG: You can. There is a simple way of doing 
it. 

SB: What about Betamax and VHS: is it 
possible to use Vi " cassettes for broadcast 
shows? 

JJG: Believe it or not, yes! I have seen some 
Betamax stuff that is, on first look, not that 
distinguishable from 3 A ". The chroma is a lit- 
tle noisier, but basically it looks about the 
same. And I have measured some VHS stuff 
on the scope, and basically it's the same. I 
have also seen a camera (which now costs 
about $900) which has auto-focusing, the PK 
956 by Panasonic. It's a Mickey Mouse 
camera that's about the size of an 8mm 
camera, and the damn thing turns out a pic- 
ture that is practically — even in low light — as 
good as a Thompson camera, except for 
horizontal detail. It does not have the 
enhancement circuits in it that go into a 
broadcast camera. It even has a graphics 
generator in it so you can subtitle. And it goes 
with one of these 4 Vi -pound decks. 

SB: So if someone was using so-called "in- 
dustrial" or "consumer" video equipment, 
what should they be looking out for if they 
have broadcast in mind? 

JJG: You should never try to degrade the 
format you are shooting in. If you are 
shooting in 3 A ", the best solution is to edit 3 A " 
to 1 ", so you don't degrade the image and lose 
your 3 A " quality. If you have to go to 3 A ", go 

JUNE9 19B3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



the way which will allow you to degrade the 
quality least: go the dub mode. 

SB: What should people look for when using 
Betamax and VHS? 

JJG: Lighting is primary. You can shoot in- 
side and put in supplemental lights — and still 
be subtle too. Carry around a couple of 
200- watt bulbs with you. 

SB: Most engineers would laugh at your sug- 
gestion that a couple of 200-watt bulbs would 
bring you up to the level needed. Is it that 
easy? 

JJG: Almost, signal-to-noise-wise — in the 
light levels, anyway. Granted, in the dark 
levels you are going to get noise. 

SB: So the problem is horizontal resolution? 

JJG: Yes. Which is the same problem you 
have in 3 A ". 

SB: Let's move to another area. An engineer 
sees lots of different producers. 

JJG: The editors sees more producers in one 
year than a producer will produce programs 
in ten or fifteen years. Smart producers will 
tap this knowledge. 

SB: What are your pet peeves about pro- 
ducers: mistakes they commonly make, misu- 
ing your time? 

JJG: In our communications business, it is, 
of course, communicating. They don't say 
what they want. 

Another pet peeve is when a producer tells 
me: "Next, we'll dissolve from one scene to 
the next." Fine. I set it up. Then they keep ad- 
ding a title, then adding this and adding that 
so you end up doing the thing four, five, six 
times because they weren't specific as to what 
they wanted in the first place, and/or they 
were unsure of the order to do it in. The pro- 
ducer has to be specific about the entire tran- 
sition. Of course it helps if you know what the 
specific equipment can and cannot do. 

Tape editors who have grown up with the 
business have developed visualization. A lot 
of producers don't have that. They have to 
see it. Now, I can't fault them for that, 
because they are young and have not had that 
experience. Some things you just have to do 
for them. But they get impatient and want to 
know why it isn't happening. I can only get 
one thing to happen at a time, not seven. 

It's a good to have as accurate an edit list as 
you can. And if there is anything com- 
plicated, I like to see a diagram, a storyboard. 

There are two major things you can do to 
placate a post-production engineer or editor. 
One simple little thing: treat him or her to 
lunch. You would be surprised at how little 
food costs and how much it gains in goodwill. 

The other thing is to realize that the editor 
is human. You may run across an engineer 
JUNE • 1903 



who is on the opinionated side, with his or her 
own ideas about how to put things together, 
and he or she may not even like what you do. 
In that case, make a suggestion as it if were 
the engineer's own idea. Use a little 
psychology. 

SB: You have designed your own editing 
room to allow for change. It's different from 
film editing, where there is a real attachment 
to a particular flatbed, like a Steenbeck or a 
KEM. 

JJG: Video isn't like that; video equipment is 
being updated constantly. It's hair-raising to 
manage. We blew $24,000 on our BVU 800 
machines nine months ago, and they are going 
to be out of date next week. You have to start 
all over again. Equipment is expendable 
because you must stay state-of-the-art as 
much as you can. I have seen a few major 
post-production houses not replace their 
hardware and lose to new production houses 
who started up with the new equipment. I set 
up my system for instant change. Right now, 
the new high-speed Vi " is phenomenally in- 
teresting. The frequency response is very close 
to the quality of l ". Jon Alpert shot all the 
NBC reports on Nicaragua on the Betacam. 
We spent a month editing those reports on the 
Betacam-to-l " system, and we look back at 
the stuff shot earlier on 3 A " and you can see 
the difference. 

SB: Do you think we are going to come full 
circle, with Vi " replacing 3 A "? Are the TV sta- 
tions going to Vi " now? 

JJG: I think we are going to go to Vi ". Corin- 
thian, a group of broadcast TV stations, has 
bought about 75 Betacams: the broadcast 

Vi ". 

SB: Will the 1984 Olympics coverage be Vi "? 

JJG: I think so. Right now, they have to see 
how well the system is going to go before they 
deVelop it. It's possible that certain 
areas — documentary, perhaps — will be shot 
in Vi ", and edited either Vi "-to- Vi " or 
Vi "-to-l ". 

This is an interim stage, because digital is 
still coming along. Then you will have almost 
a perfect system, because when you make a 
digital copy, it's on a bit-for-bit basis with vir- 
tually no loss of quality. 

SB: So it will still be tape, but it will be 
digitally recorded? 

JJG: For the time being. 

SB: Half, 3 A "? When do you see it coming 
in? 

JJG: Both. Many of the predictions are 
"within the next five years." But they said 
that five years ago. 

SB: And for the year 2000? 



JJG: If we are lucky, by the year 2000 we will 
probably just have a solid cube, with the in- 
formation stored in it and played off it: a 3-D 
rectangle. The camera will be a CCD camera, 
undoubtedly, which is just a bunch of flat 
chips. The biggest thing on the camera will be 
the lens. Editors will then have random access 
to every single frame. When you have infor- 
mation stored digitally, you can change infor- 
mation digitally. When you can control the 
information, you can change the 
background, you can change the foreground. 
In other words, you could take a photograph 
of, say, Charles Laughton and animate it en- 
tirely: you could create a voice synthesis of his 
voice, and what you see on the screen may not 
really be what you see on the screen. That per- 
son may not be who you see, or may not have 
ever said that. 

SB: So you can create a reality that will be 
completely animated, and that looks like live 
TV? 

JJG: Yup. It's exciting and it's shocking. It's 
sort of like 1984, but worse. 

SB: Depending on who controls the images. ■ 

Skip Blumberg is an independent video pro- 
ducer, a former engineer at KQED and cur- 
rently a Guggenheim Fellow. His show World 
Eskimo Indian Olympics will appear on many 
PBS stations on July 12 at 10:30 pm. 

r iiiiiini: 



FEATURING. 



HERESIES #16 

MEDIA: 
FILM & VIDEO 



PROVOCATIVE. . . 

STIMULATING. . . 

A DEFINITE MUST! 

Available: Summer 1983 
Price: $5.00 



HERESIES: 

A Feminist Publication 

on Art & Politics 

PO Box 766 

Canal Street Station 

New York, NY 10013 



llllllllllll 



IB 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Plugging into 
The Video Circuit 



A Who's Who of national distributors, 
looking at what they stock and how they operate. 



You have finally completed your long- 
gestating video magnum opus, and shown it 
once at the local video parlor. What next? Do 
you tenderly place it on a shelf and forget 
about it? No. Since the early Seventies there 
has been a small (by broadcast standards) but 
steadily increasing utilization of non- 
broadcast channels of distribution for work 
produced with video technology, especially by 
independents. What's available falls far short 
of an ideal circuit, but there has been a 
tremendous amount of growth, particularly 
in the last three years. Distribution is still 
mostly a matter of exhibition in public sites 
such as museums, libraries and galleries, not 
the pipeline to the home tube (via networks, 
PTV and cable) to which many aspire. In this 
article I'll look at the major distributors 
specializing in non-broadcast markets, to give 
the independent video producer a chance to 
decide who might be the best for his or her 
tape.* (But I won't cover festivals or home 
video, or distributors lacking a strong com- 
mitment to indies.) 

The new video technology that became 
available in the late Sixties and early Seventies 
was first used extensively by artists and in- 
dependent producers who previously had no 
access to cost-restrictive technology. The Big 
Guys (broadcast TV) didn't get into the act 
until much later, with Electronic News 
Gathering. Until then, film was the portable 
medium. The availability of the new tech- 
nology fostered a wide-ranging body of work: 
documentary, experimental, performance 
documents and artists' tapes. Gradually, dur- 
ing the '70s, various institutions acquired 
playback decks, generally in the 3 A " U-matic 
cassette format, creating the possibility of a 
network for distribution of videotape outside 
of broadcast television — similar to the market 
already developed for 16mm, but with a few 
key differences. In fact, U-matic viewing is 
becoming so popular in the 1980s that 
distributors who have specialized in 16mm 
will soon have to provide their titles in video 
versions! 

EAI 

It was a natural evolution of the early in- 
dependent video scene that the first ones to 
develop video-only distribution were galleries 

*In the context of this article "non-broad- 
cast" is defined as closed-circuit markets. 
16 



ISAAC JACKSON 

that picked up the newest member of the 
"fine art" family. The Howard Wise Gallery 
in New York was an ardent early supporter of 
the electronic arts, especially the video arts. 




Ace quark hunter Mr. Marks hunts for a charged par- 
ticle of meaning in Peter D'Agostino's 1979 Quarks. 

Howard Wise sponsored many historic exhi- 
bitions of video beginning with Nam June 
Paik as early as 1967, as well as the first survey 
exhibition of video art, "TV as a Creative 
Medium," in 1969. By 1971 Wise closed his 
gallery to start Electronic Arts Intermix, a 
not-for-profit corporation, to "explore video 
as a means of personal expression and com- 
munication." Through the pioneering work 
of EAI many people were made aware that a 
new body of work existed and was available 
for rental or sale. The networks might not be 
interested in personal expression or real com- 
munication, but perhaps a new audience 
could be created around non-broadcast view- 
ing situations. 

The artist distribution service was in place 
by 1973 and continues today to play a major 
role in the advancement of video art. EAI has 
extensive contacts throughout the US due to 
its head start. The market they have 
developed is the market for independents, 
and universities, media centers, libraries and 
festivals are the major renters (purchases are a 
small factor in the field). EAI has been joined 
recently by other distributors. There is an in- 
credible amount of overlap nowadays, a con- 
dition that everyone (including EAI) feels is 
helpful to the independent market. But each 



also offers unique advantages and disadvan- 
tages, depending on the nature of your tape 
and other factors, which we'll explore below. 

Of course, as the oldest service EAI's bulky 
catalogue spans the careers of many establish- 
ed independent videomakers. Lately they 
have been adding a few newer artists, too. Ac- 
cording to EAI administrator Lori Zippay, 
even one unsolicited videotape that they have 
never heard of was added to the catalogue. 
However, this is the exception, not the rule. 
One should write or call first to ensure that 
EAI's viewing schedule can accommodate 
new works; otherwise your tape may sit on the 
shelf for a while. 

EAI has non-exclusive contracts with their 
artists — as do most video distributors, for the 
field is too new to expect an independent to 
put all his or her tapes in one basket. EAI 
splits the rental fee with the artist 50/50. In 
general you will find most distributors reluc- 
tant to charge rental fees by the minute, as is 
the standard practice in film rentals. EAI and 
others prefer to rent by setting minimum 
prices for tapes, ensuring that makers of short 
tapes aren't penalized solely on the basis of 
length. A 10-minute tape using image process- 
ing may cost the artist as much to make as a 
'/2-hour documentary. EAI charges $50 for a 
.tape under 30 minutes and $75 over 30 
minutes. This is similar to the rates offered by 
other distributors, unless otherwise noted 
when we get to them. But don't take this to be 
an "industry" standard. Prices vary not only 
by distributor but also from artist to artist. 
The percentages vary even more. But it is fair 
to say that you rarely find a rental for a single 
'/2-hour tape exceeding $50. 

EAI is interested in all genres, as long as it's 
a non-commercial production. If EAI feels a 
tape is inappropriate for them, they will 
recommend other places that might possibly 
be interested. Lori Zippay emphasizes that if 
EAI does send you somewhere else, it is an 
honest attempt to help the artist and not a 
tactful put-off. In shopping around for a dis- 
tributor, EAI might be a good first stop 
because they offer helpful advice to young ar- 
tists who may be unaware of who's doing 
what. EAI plans to expand its market by plac- 
ing tapes in unusual contexts. For example, 
Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show 
by Skip Blumberg is being requested more, 
thanks to EAI's efforts, by athletic directors 
in Southern schools. EAI publishes a newslet- 

JUNE9 19B3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ter which updates its catalogue with new 
titles. They keep a file of stills and other 
publicity items in order to promote artists' 
work. EAI tends to avoid creating packages 
or programs of artist tapes that serve as a 
compilation of catalogue material, preferring 
to concentrate on individual artists. At the re- 
quest of a particular institution, however, 
EAI will assemble a series, such as the travel- 
ing show on documentary, image processing 
and performance-related tapes created for the 
American Museum Association. 

KITCHEN 

The Kitchen has long been established as a 
pioneer in the exhibition of video by in- 
dependents. In 1979 The Kitchen decided to 
expand its commitment to video by in- 
dependents by offering distribution services 
to artists included in the video exhibition pro- 
grams. The reputation of The Kitchen as a 
video art center led to a large volume of re- 
quests for tapes by festivals, universities etc., 
so it was a natural outgrowth of The Kitchen's 
services that a consistent program of distribu- 
tion was developed. To be included in The 
Kitchen's distribution service you must be 
selected by the video curator to show in the 
viewing room. The few exceptions are truly 
exceptional, so don't send The Kitchen a let- 
ter of interest or a tape unless you have 
already shown there. (However, it does show 
a lot of work by young artists, so don't 
assume that you don't have a chance of being 
exhibited there.) The Kitchen offers non- 
exclusive contracts to its clients, feeling, as 
does EAI, that the overlapping of some of its 
catalogue with other distributors' is beneficial 
to the field. The exceptions to this rule are 
tapes of performances produced at The Kit- 
chen and its own productions, such as Robert 
Ashley's video opera The Lessons. In these 
cases The Kitchen maintains exclusive rights. 
This year The Kitchen will break even with its 
arrangement of 70/30 percentages for rentals, 
with the artist getting the larger sum. But this 
may change to a 50/50 split next year, when 
The Kitchen reassesses its costs. 

The Kitchen's distribution service, ad- 
ministered by Greg Miller, offers a number of 
programs or packages that are compilations 
of various tapes organized by subject matter, 
including video/music, video/dance, 
documentary, performance, image processing 
and a reel on the way indies look at television. 
These programs are quite popular, and useful 
to programmers who want a quick survey of 
what's happening in video art. The Kitchen 
also offers a sampler of everything except 
their sink called Programs for Four Evenings. 
Like other distributors, The Kitchen pays not 
by the minute but by the program. In the case 
of compilations, they utilize a complicated 
formula that I won't go into here; but the ar- 
tist does make less than on the rental of an in- 
dividual tape. Miller feels that it's to the ad- 
vantage of the artists to gain increased ex- 
posure as compensation for less money, but 
admits that the issue is still unresolved. 
JUNE 9 1983 



Dara Birnbaum, who has tapes in circula- 
tion with almost all the distributors including 
The Kitchen, concurs. While she has no prob- 
lems with the concept of thematic shows, she 
feels that "a balance must be struck between 
the theme shows and shows which provide a 
perspective on the work as a whole body." So 
while it's great that her work in the 
video/music reel will be shown to people nor- 
mally unconcerned with the issues represented 
in her tapes, there is a danger that it and the 
work of other artists may be reduced to being 
seen one-dimensionally. Aware of these prob- 
lems, The Kitchen is reassessing its ap- 
proaches to marketing. There is a distinct 
possibility that in the future it will carry fewer 
titles and concentrate on individual artists. 

The Kitchen is very liberal in terms of the 



subsidy and office space. VDB offers non- 
exclusive contracts to its artists and splits the 
cost of rentals 50/50. If a sale is made, 100% 
of the purchase price goes to the artist. Com- 
pared to The Kitchen and EAI, VDB seems to 
offer the best of both worlds. While offering 
programs on thematic material like The Kit- 
chen, it also offers "series" which focus on in- 
dividual artists, like EAI. VDB supplies sup- 
plementary materials, sometimes including 
slides and related material from their "Inter- 
views on Art" series. 

VDB offers a certain pull in the Midwest 
that springs from its association with the Art 
Institute. Although it is pretty much aware of 
what's going on in the field and usually invites 
artists with track records, newer artists are 
sometimes added to the catalogue. They ask 




In Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen's Cindy Sherman: An Interview (1981), the chameleon photographer 
engages in a futile job hunt. Only her gallery representative, Metro Pictures, knows the staggering extent of her 
present employability. 



number of times one can view a tape on ren- 
tal. The rental agreements are for 10 plays or 
two weeks, as opposed to most distributors, 
whose rental fees are for as many plays as one 
wants for one day. Once again exposure over 
income is the guiding principle, and the 
videomaker has to decide for him or herself 
what is important. Like other distributors, 
The Kitchen has had only moderate success in 
selling tapes — due most likely to problems in- 
herent in the medium itself, such as the lack of 
historical precedent for video sales. When 
The Kitchen does make a sale, it is only with 
the express consent of the producer. 

VIDEO DA TA BANK 

In January of this year, Video Data Bank in 
Chicago began distributing tapes by, rather 
than merely about, artists. Co-director Lyn 
Blumenthal feels that the new distribution 
service is a natural extension of their previous 
concerns with using video technology to 
document the activities and ideas of the 
creative process. 

Video Data Bank is an independent org- 
anization affiliated with the School of the Art 
Institute of Chicago, from which it receives a 



you to send a query letter first. Blumenthal 
also has a residence in New York, where East 
Coasters might find it easier to get their work 
to her; but write Chicago first. Agreeing that 
the field is still defining itself, Blumenthal 
says that "artists are going to have to decide 
on ways to make the field less schizophrenic. " 
Many of the artists in the VDB catalogue are 
duplicated by other catalogues, but some of 
the tapes are different. (Is this schizo or 
what?) 

UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY VIDEO 

Video Data Bank isn't the only noteworthy 
distributor in the Midwest. In Minneapolis 
there is University Community Video, whose 
title is a partial explanation of the market it 
serves. Not that the other distributors don't 
often overlap into the community /university 
markets, but UCV has created a special niche 
for itself. While UCV doesn't rule out carry- 
ing tapes by non-Midwestern videomakers, its 
primary goal is to serve the Midwestern video 
independent. Another difference is that UCV 
specializes in tapes that deal with specific 
social issues in documentary form and tapes 
of well-known personalities. As a result, of all 

17 



THE INDEPENDENT 



the distributors, their market most closely 
resembles the network set up by 16mm 
distributors, with heavy use of their tapes by 
libraries, classrooms and the educational cir- 
cuit. Examples from their catalogue include 
Stay with Me by Ellen Roe Anthony, a 
videotape on Karen Clark, an openly lesbian 
state legislator. 

University Community Video offers its 
clients a 70/30 contract, with UCV getting the 
lion's share. Neil Sieling, administrator of the 
distribution service, considers this fair to the 
videomaker because UCV has the smallest 
number of titles of all the distributors, so they 
can really push what they have. UCV is not 
subsidized by any outside agency, so the 
70/30 ratio is an economic reality. UCV is 
unique in that it offers an exclusive contract 
and pays by the minute. Generally they charge 
$1 /minute, since they rarely distribute a tape 
under 30 minutes in length. 

Recently UCV received a $20,000 grant to 
develop video distribution further by expand- 
ing the number of titles they carry as well as 
their library. They are especially interested ir 
video work by people of color. For the future, 
Seiling thinks that UCV's main challenge is 
proving that the distribution service can make 
money . 

On the West Coast, distribution is not well- 
organized. In San Francisco there is only 
Video 80, which is primarily involved in 
publishing Video 80s magazine and organiz- 
ing festivals. Starting in June, however, Video 
80 will experiment with distributing a few 
titles for the home market on VHS and Beta. I 
would stress the word "experiment" in this 
project, because they are working with a few 
titles of very well-known artists. Los Angeles 
has no independent video distribution either. 
In a state as large as California, there is great 
potential for an enterprising individual or 
organization to develop this market. 

MEDIA PROJECT 

Further north on the West Coast is 
Portland's Media Project (formerly the 
Northwest Media Project), which distributes 
a large number of video titles, specializing in 
social issues and history. They are also in- 
terested in developing the health/medical/en- 
vironmental market for independent video. 
Tapes like Hurt on the Job by Clayton Wrye, 
which deals with compensation and the 
handicapped worker, are successfully 
distributed to hospitals and other medical 
establishments (a hospital helped place Hurt 
on the Job in hospitals all over the US). The 
Media Project is also eager to promote the 
tapes of videomakers of the Northwest to 
other regions. A recent example was its ex- 
change program with the (now defunct) 
Alabama Film-makers Co-op. 

Unlike most distributors, The Media Pro- 
ject has a cooperative structure. They offer 
non-exclusive contracts and let each artist set 
the terms of rental and sales, although MP 
will offer suggestions to help the producer 
make a realistic decision. Videomakers are ex- 

18 



pected to participate in the distribution pro- 
cess by serving time on the organization's 
distribution committee. (While it is not man- 
datory that this be accomplished in Oregon, 
proximity does help. Thus most titles that MP 
handles are by Northwest videomakers.) This 
in-kind time contribution helps keep 
overhead down, which in turn enables MP to 
offer the artists a high 80% of their tapes' ren- 




Everyone loses face and yet no one loses face in 
Shigeko Kubota's Video Girls & Video Songs for 
Navaho Sky (1973). 

tal earnings. On the pro side, this arrange- 
ment offers the artist a chance to learn the 
distribution business firsthand. But time is 
money, and the higher percentage may actual- 
ly be worth less than the average rate if you 
really can't spare the time from other income- 
generating activity, which is part of the reason 
artists go to distributors in the first place. But 
for the documentary videomaker in this 
recession-struck region, the loss of a percen- 
tage point or two is usually irrelevant in the 
context of getting the work out there. The 
Media Project will be making a general call 
for new work in June. Works will be selected 
based on artistic merit, social value and the 
highest technical production values. 

CASTELLI-SONNABEND & POINTS 
NORTH 

Last but not least is Castelli-Sonnabend, 
the most exclusive video distribution service 
that I spoke with. To be included in their ser- 
vice you must be hand-picked by Leo Castelli 
himself. Since the art market prefers scarcity 
to information, this service limits itself to a 
small number of artists, most of whom show 
regularly in other media (like painting at the 
Castelli-Sonnabend Gallery). Don't bother 
sending a tape unless Castelli asks you to. 

(Up north in Canada, Art Metropole car- 
ries mostly Canadian artists, but does repre- 
sent a few American titles. Write to them for 
more detail on whether your tape is ap- 
propriate for their service. Be prepared to be 
the token American!) 

NEW INSTITUTIONAL PROJECTS 

Recently, a few institutions with estab- 
lished track records in exhibiting or pro- 
moting or distributing artworks in different 
media are beginning to look at video distribu- 
tion as a way to expand their artistic pro- 
grams. This undoubtedly will have major im- 



plications for the future, as places like the 
Museum of Modern Art and Boston's In- 
stitute for Contemporary Art start to flex 
their institutional might in this area. At press 
time, both MoMA and ICA had plans to 
begin distribution before the end of 1983. 
MoMA is definitely going to distribute video, 
but to what extent this will reflect the pro- 
gramming policies of its small but committed 
video staff is unknown. Distribution will be 
handled by the film department — a hopeful 
sign, since this department handles many ex- 
cellent titles. 

In Boston, the Institute for Contemporary 
Art is negotiating with the local PBS affiliate 
for a production deal for video artists that will 
include provisions for distribution, utilizing 
WGBH's international distribution service. 
This program will be highly selective, since it 
will involve the production of new tapes with 
relatively high budgets. If the project comes 
through, it will be innovative in that artists 
will receive royalties from sales through 
distribution. This will stimulate the artist to 
act as a salesperson for his or her own work. It 
is also more in line with precedents set by the 
broadcast industry. Video independents will 
have to decide for themselves if this system is 
in their best interests. Although all the 
distributors I spoke with have made sales to 
cable, it is not a primary market. Some are 
more interested than others in approaching 
broadcast and cable. The ICA plan will link 
independent video distribution with broad- 
cast on a consistent basis for the first time. It 
remains to be seen if the ICA gets the go- 
ahead on its plan, and what will be produced 
once it does. On its own, ICA has already in- 
cluded video in a number of touring packages 
of exhibitions, thanks to the efforts of David 
Ross. 

The American Federation for the Arts has 
long been a distributor for independent 
cinema, especially the new American avant- 
garde. This year for the first time they will be 
handling a video program — the Whitney 
Biennial Video Exhibition, curated by John 
Hanhardt. AFA feels that it has been suc- 
cessful in the film arts, so why not video? 
Based on the success of the Whitney Biennial 
program, AFA will assess its further commit- 
ment to the field. 

Needless to say, getting your videotape into 
the AFA touring program will depend on get- 
ting your videotape into the Whitney Biennial 
(good luck!). AFA sees itself as a museum ser- 
vice organization and prints extensive pro- 
gram notes to go with the Whitney program, 
written by Hanhardt with statements from the 
artists. But can larger institutions like MoMA 
and ICA provide the same attention to the 
field as smaller organizations whose main job 
is to serve video artists? 

The future of independent video distribu- 
tion looks good with so many different 
organizations offering their services, but 
clarification and standardization of practices 
and contracts is still needed. Dara Birnbaum 
hopes that the current depressed economic 
climate doesn't force distributors to go out- 

JUNE 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



• VIDEO DISTRIBUTORS • 

Always send a letter of interest before 
sending a tape. V* " U-Matic cassette is the 
standard format; if your tape is on Vi ", try 
to have it dubbed to 3 A ". Always include a 
self-addressed stamped mailing bag when 
sending a tape to a distributor. 

Electronic Arts Intermix, Inc. 

84 Fifth Ave., New York NY 1001 1 

(212)989-2316 

Lori Zippay 

The Kitchen Video Distribution 

59 Wooster St., New York NY 10012 
(212) 925-3615 
Gregory Miller 

Video Data Bank 

School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
Columbus Dr. at Jackson Blvd. 
Chicago IL 60603 
(312)443-3793 
Lyn Blumenthal 

University Community Video 

425 Ontario St. SE 
Minneapolis MN 55414 
(612) 376-3333 
Neil Sieling 

The Media Project 

PO Box 4093 
Portland OR 97208 
(503) 233-5335 
Stephanie Allman 

American Federation of Arts 

41 East 65 St., New York NY 10021 
(212) 988-7700 
Sam McElfresh 

Museum of Modern Art/Film Dept. 

11 West 53rd St., New York NY 10019 
(212) 956-6100 
Michael Miller 

Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes & Films 

142 Greene St., New York NY 10012 
(212)431-6279 



IT PAYS TO SWITCH 



Multi-camera production is expensive. But think what you get for your money: special effects, wipes, 
dissolves, keys, supers! And now, they don't have to be budget busters. 

Instead ol creating these effects in post-production at a cost of hundreds of dollars per hour, you can sa\c 
time and money making these decisions on location. 

Locus Communications, specialists in low-cost location video services, now offers an affordable multi- 
camera package. Next time you have to shoot a performance, concert, conference, demonstration, sporting 
event anything that needs more than one camera angle -call us. We have a variety of packages for a 
variety of budgets. 




TOCUS 

250 West 57th Street, Room 1228 (212) 757-4220 



side their special interest areas; too much of 
this will be bad for everyone, she feels. Birn- 
baum and many others involved in the 
distribution circuit, artists and distributors 
alike, worry that current economics could 
cause the market to be flooded by en- 
trepreneurs hoping to make a fast buck 
marketing quick-mix rock videotapes. Video 
artists should be wary of newcomers to the 
scene who want to distribute to clubs; talk to 
other artists first, to see what a distributor's 
track record is. This isn't to say that all new 
distributors are crooks, but in any gold rush 
there are always a few fools . ■ 

Isaac Jackson is a video artist, FIVF program 
coordinator and an independent radio pro- 
ducer. 

JUNE •1983 





Castelli Sonnabend 


Videos Film works by 


Simone Forti 




Tapes & Films, Inc. 


the following artists 


Hermine Freed 




142 Greene Street 


are available: 


Barry Gerson 




New York, N.Y. 10012 




Frank Gillette 




Tel: 212/431-6279 




Tina Girouard 
Michael Harvey 
David Haxton 
Nancy Holt 




1 




Joan Jonas 








Beryl Korot 






. 


Paul Kos 








Mitchell Kriegman 




- K ■ 

■ 
1 




Richard Landry 






Ardele Lister 




. ■ - ' 




Andy Mann 




■ 




Robert Morris 




'■;■■'.•■■ - ■ 

..- B 1 ■pi 




Bruce Nauman 






Claes Oldenburg 




■;•*.- 




Charlemagne Palestine 








Mark Rappaport 




..." ■ <"-i^- .»"-.' -HE 




Robert Rauschenberg 








Edward Ruscha 




m I ,-;. 


Vito Acconci 


Richard Serra 






John Baldessari 


Paul Sharits 






Lynda Benglis 


David Shulman 




■ *S ■ v 


Donald Burgy 


Michael Smith 




| --.-'-'-.-" . 


Peter Campus 


Michael Snow 




■- MpfQH ' '- ■-■'' ■ .*■ 


John Chamberlin 


Keith Sonnier 






Barbaralee Diamonstein 


William wegman 




' 


Juan Downey 


Lawrence Weiner 















19 



Young Filmakers/Video Arts 



13 Years of Continuous 

Service to the Independent 

Media Arts Community 

• Film/Video/Audio Equipment 

• Production and Post- 
Production Facilities 

• Beginning, Intermediate & 
Advanced Training 

CALL FOR FREE BROCHURE 

OF CURRENT PROGRAMS & 

SERVICES 

CTQ QQ£4 10 am— 6 pm 

OfO-JOOl weekdays 

Young Filmakers/Video Arts 

4 Rivington St. NYC 10002 







THE INDEPENDENT 



FESTIVALS 



Two Views on NY: 

"A Lovely Feeling" or 
Not the Gambling Kind? 

CHRIS BEAVER 



That perfect sultry evening one gets after a 
hot, muggy day surrounded Lincoln Center 
for the opening of the 20th Annual New York 
Film Festival in September 1982. Over its two- 
week run, the Festival would show among its 
thirty offerings the final duo of the late R. W. 
Fassbinder's films (with the exception of the 
very last, Querelle, which was uncompleted at 
that time). 

Although the majority of the films selected 
are dramatic features from abroad — and are 
American premieres, as all the films presented 
must be — over the years New York has given a 
prestigious spotlight to a select number of 
American documentaries. Starting with the 
surprise appearance of Harlan County, USA 
in 1976 and continuing through The Wob- 
blies, The Life and Times ofRosie the Riveter 
and Soldier Girls, New York has become an 
important film festival for documentaries, 
since they are given the same full recognition 
as fiction films. 

The validation given one's film by inclu- 
sion is substantial: A separate screening for 
foreign buyers was a good draw because our 
film had received credentials from New York; 
Judy Irving arranged for Richard McHugh, 
who appears in Dark Circle, and herself to ap- 
pear on the Today Show during the festival; 
and many members of the press came to the 
festival's beautifully handled press screening. 
Full reviews by Vincent Canby of The New 
York Times and Carrie Rickey, then with the 
Village Voice, ended up in our press kits. We 
were off and running; we'd been 
launched. 

So on opening night, feeling very James 
Bond in a tuxedo materialized from thin air 
by Charlie Musser (whose Before the Nickelo- 
deon was also in the festival), Ruth Landy and 
I, along with our dates Skip Blumberg in for- 
mal baseball cap and Jane Aaron in a black 
rayon dress, somewhat self-consciously 
entered Alice Tully Hall to see Veronika Voss 
with an extremely well-turned-out crowd. In 
the lobby we made the circuit looking for 
familiar faces, but found them only in the 
giant photos of movie heavies from past 
years. 

Inside the auditorium we joined a full 
house which murmured and flipped through 
the program book, all the while watching 
itself with a great deal of pleasure. The hall, 
the audience, the screen, the occasion all 
seemed larger than life. Appropriately, the 
first scene of Veronika Voss is set in a movie 



20 



house, an on-screen theater symmetrical with 
the theater in which we sat. In that on-screen 
theater Fassbinder himself sat, leaning for- 
ward for a final appearance as a solitary 
moviegoer. . .who is each one of us. It really 
was magic. 

A friend once said that the projectionist has 
final cut. At the New York Film Festival that 
should inspire only gratitude. In Alice Tully 
Hall, 16mm appears to be 35mm and 35mm 
appears to be a gift from heaven. Veronika 
Voss looked and sounded immaculate: 
vibrant white skin and film noir shadows. In 
the projection booth several days later, 
managing to deliver the first Dark Circle print 
the very morning of our press screening, I 
overheard two projectionists discussing a 
scandal: a few days before, it seems, some 
projectionist had actually permitted a glimpse 
of Academy leader — the only time this had 
happened in Festival memory. 

Unlike many film festivals, New York does 
not overwhelm viewers with sheer numbers of 
films. It is theoretically possible to see all the 
films, though highly unlikely for participating 
filmmakers given the attendant level of ac- 
tivity including the numerous by-invitation- 
only receptions. Here are a few impressions: 

• Jealously watching the other films in the 
festival sell out their seats: the revivals first, 
then the contemporary fiction films, then the 
documentaries. Koyanisqatsi, a 35mm doc- 
umentary feature without dialogue, narration 
or characters, sells out 5000-seat Radio City 
Music Hall; Say Amen, Somebody sells out 
all their seats and sends the audience through 
the roof with their brilliant, exhilarating work 
and the presence of of live gospel singers. And 
yet, almost until the end we have unsold seats 
remaining. Nervewracking. 

• Seeing a pair of cowboy boots propped 
on a seat -back during one screening and turn- 
ing to discover their inhabitant to be Richard 
Roud, director of the festival. 

• Ellen Geiger, our distribution super- 
visor, catching Werner Herzog nervously re- 
bounding a soccer ball in the lobby during the 
press screening of Fitzcarraldo. 

• Meeting Nestor Almendros (cine- 
matographer for Truffaut and Mallick) at a 
sidewalk cafe across from Lincoln Center as 
we sat with friends and fellow festival 
denizens. 

• Drinking festival-supplied champagne in 
the Green Room prior to Dark Circle's public 

JUNE* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 




New York Film Festival: The Discreet Charm of the Glamboree or. ..? Anthony Higgins measures the confines of 
the bourgeois world in Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract. 



screening, then cramming ten of us into 
special box seats reserved for four filmmakers 
and being caught by surprise when a spotlight 
came up on us during the film's end credits. 

The New York Film Festival does not end in 
New York: it continues to have significance, 
identifying a film instantly as being worth a 
look. It creates a professional aura that will be 
sustained for years. The festival's acceptance 
of Dark Circle, a portrait of America in the 
nuclear age, meant an affirmation of its par- 
ticipants and the stories they told, both in the 
film itself and later before the audience in a 
question-and-answer session following the 
film's premiere. 

I was left in the end with that timeless sense 
you get on certain humid evenings when the 
Yankees have just won at home, and as you 
exit, over the stadium speakers Frank Sinatra 
sings: "If you can make it here, You know 
you can make it anywhere; New York, New 
York." It's not quite true of course, but oh, 
what a lovely feeling. 

Chris Beaver, San Francisco 

Chris Beaver co-produced Dark Circle with 
Judy Irving and Ruth Landy. He is currently 
working on a film set in contemporary 
Alaska. 



Playing it Safe 



A look at the origins of the New York Film 
Festival reveals some of the not-so-obvious 
considerations which underpin programming 
decisions. The programming committee now 
consists of five men (Richard Roud, director; 
Richard Corliss, Jim Hoberman and David 
Thompson). Consultant Marc Weiss has done 
yeoman service as guardian angel for the 
American indie and documentary gang since 
he first came on in 1981 . Last year's addition 
of Village Voice critic Hoberman supplied the 
committee with a knowledgeable advocate of 
the avant-garde and art film, as well as a 
younger, hipper taste. While the fest occa- 
sionally does sidebars — witness the 17 indie 
features in 1979 or 1981's Social Satire 
show — basically it's still a Lincoln Center, 
two-week affair. 

The NY Fest was started as a twin of the 
JUNE • 1003 



London Film Festival, and it's illuminating to 
see how the two have diverged since the 1960s. 
London has grown and grown and grown, un- 
til it now ranks as one of the favorite fests of 
indies for its combination of prestige plus 
diversity. The National Film Theatre on the 
banks of the Thames also counts as an attrac- 
tion, because the cramped quarters facilitate 
plentiful and useful contacts among 
distributors, press and filmmakers, who all 
gather in the NFT bar and lounge. In New 
York, on the other hand, it's often hard for 
filmmakers (especially newcomers) to identify 
key people, let alone meet them in swarms. 
Those in the know are well aware that much 
significant publicity, in addition to New York 
Times reviews, is generated by the individual 
publicists hired to work the crowd. (Could 
one put a price on the services rendered by the 
top PR firm of Renee Furst, which helped to 
fill Radio City Music Hall's 5,000 seats for 
Koyaanisquatsi?) 

Another difference between the twins is 
that the London Fest's two halls are smaller, 
making it easier for them to take risks on 
unusual films. In NY, however, Roud worries 
about filling Alice Tully Hall's 1,100 seats 
when he programs unknowns or difficult 
films. In a long interview in the British film 
magazine Sight and Sound (fall 1981), Roud 
reflected on his preference for a limited 
festival: "One of the points about keeping a 
festival small, and one reason why New York 
is still small (around 20-30 films), is to allow 
the reviewers see everything." He notes that 
critical reaction is more important in New 
York than in London, and that since the 
number of dailies has dropped by five in the 
last two decades, individual critics are more 
powerful than ever. 

The 1982 fest finally melted the freeze-out 
of New Wave work, a homegrown tendency 
which had been hailed at small events and 
large almost everywhere but here. Its indie 
quotient moved from 1981 's nine down to 
eight out of 30 films. 

While NYFF does program some women 
and eventually gets around to presenting key 
Third World directors, it has a long way to go 
in terms of adventurousness. In the last five 
years, while women, the avant-garde and all 
kinds of Third World filmmakers have been 



prominently displayed in other festivals, 
NYFF has played it safe. Where are Chantal 
Ackerman, Michelle Citron, Sally Potter, 
Ulrike Ottinger, Valie Export, Kidlat 
Tahimik, Santiago Alvarez, Haile Gerima, 
Chris Choy, Med Hondo, Anne Hui et all 
Some of these names have shown up at New 
Directors/New Films, but when NYFF is 
reduced to running a teen soap opera starring 
Matt.Dillon Oast year's Tex), I think it time for 
a rethink. 

A final note on something rarely mentioned 
at the fest: shorts. There were more of them 
(15) than in recent years and they spanned an 
exhilarating range of styles, leading Veronica 
Geng in The Nation to say: "The whole- 
heartedly American films [at the Fest] were 
the shorts." Ernie Gehr's Shift, which 
choreographed cars and trucks through 
editing into a structuralist formal show, was 
apparently too radical for critics and au- 
dience. At the press screening, it was booed 
and hissed, while it appears that the fest 
crowd disapproved even more vociferously. 
Likewise Steven Weiss' deadpan avant-garde 
doc Miami Is OK annoyed the hard-nosed 
newspaper types who surrounded me at the 
press screening, but attracted favorable 
notices in the Voice, Newsweek and The Na- 
tion. Shorts still aren't given equal treatment: 
filmmakers don't get plane fare to town, nor 
are the shorts even listed in the program. But 
the selection this time was a heartening indica- 
tion of broader tastes — a reminder that the 
films can sometimes transcend the gilt 
toniness of Lincoln Center, and a good omen 
for the future . — Kathleen Hulser 

To enter the New York Film Festival, re- 
quest entry forms from Joanne Koch, Wendy 
Keys or Marcy Blum at the Film Society of 
Lincoln Center, 140 West 65 St., New York 
NY 10023; (212) 877-1800, ext. 489. Deadline 
for shorts: June 15; features: July 15. 
Changes in the selection committee: David 
Thompson, LA-based film writer, has been 
added and Tom Luddy is now their West 
Coast consultant. The 21st festival will take 
place Sept. 23-Oct. 9, 1983. ■ 

Toronto 

The Toronto Festival of Festivals provides 
an overlap of disparate and antithetical in- 
dividual tastes rather than a distillation based 
on committee decisions, or as Chicago 
magazine more simply stated, "The secret of 
Toronto's success is its diversity." 

Most varied was audience response to the 
1982 fest, which ranged from heavy praise for 
scope to one journalist's remark that "the en- 
tire festival schedule should have been mark- 
ed 'To be announced.'" Clearly stated, 
however, were the festival presentations, in- 
cluding a tribute to Martin Scorsese; the 
always-controversial "Critic's Choice," 
which focused on films about reconciliation; 
a retrospective of John Cassavetes and Gena 
Rowlands: "Brazilian Cinema"; "New 
Zealand Cinema"; "Video/Video"; and 

21 



THE INDEPENDENT 



"New Directors/New Directions," the space 
reserved for independents. 

Two previous programs — "Real to Reel" 
(documentaries) and "Less Is More" (low- 
budget independent productions) — were 
combined last year into "New Directors/New 
Directions," headed by the ardently feminist 
Canadian experimental filmmaker and docu- 
mentarian Kay Armatage. Festival director 
Wayne Clarkson praised Armatage's 
"delightfully schizophrenic tastes," which 
gave him "the year's most political and avant- 
garde program." In fact, Clarkson stole Paul 
Bartel's black comedy Eating Raoul from 
Armatage's menu to use as one of the gala 
presentations. 

NO NUKES OF THE NORTH 

Featured among the wide variety of in- 
dependents were The Great Chess Movie 
(Gilles Carle), Forty-Deuce (Paul Morrissey), 
Marianne and Juliane (Margarethe von Trot- 
ta), The Loveless (Kathryn Bigelow and Mon- 
ty Montgomery), Smithereens (Susan 
Seidelman), Bix: Ain't None of Them Play 
Like Him Yet (Brigitte Berman), Britannia 
Hospital (Lindsay Anderson), Burden of 
Dreams (Les Blank), Toute Une Nuit (Chan- 
tal Ackerman) and a nuclear trio, Eight 
Minutes to Midnight (Mary Benjamin), If 
You Love This Planet (Terri Nash) and No 
Place to Hide (Tom Johnson and Lance 
Bird). According to Armatage, these films 
"provide eloquent counterpoint to fat 
budgets, high-powered stars and special ef- 
fects, and offer in their stead an original and 
thriving new cinema." 

The annual Trade Forum was held concur- 
rently with the festival, last year focusing on 
the effects of video on the film industry. The 
attendance at the Forum of all six Canadian 
pay-TV licensees, acquisition and production 
plans in hand, suggests that this market may 
yet prove accessible to independent film- 
makers. 

1982 was the inaugural year of the CFTO- 
TV International Critics' Award, won by 
Rainer Werner FasSbinder's Veronika Voss 
and a Dutch film, Orlow Seunke's The Taste 
of Water. Labatt's Most Popular Film 
Award, voted on by an audience of over 
130,000, was given to Paul Mazursky's The 
Tempest. Past winners of the Labatt award 
include Best Boy, Chariots of Fire and P4W: 
Prison for Women. 

Judging from the 86 features screened last 
year, the emphasis at Toronto is clearly on 
features, although shorts and documentaries 
are also welcome. Their policy on premieres is 
ambiguous. According to associate director 
Anne MacKenzie, films should not have been 
publicly screened in Canada, but she does ad- 
mit some overlap with the Montreal World 
Film Festival, which precedes it by a few 
weeks. Clarkson and MacKenzie will be in 
New York at the offices of the National Film 
Board of Canada during the second or third 
week of June to make selections. They wish to 
be contacted through their Canadian office, 
22 




Leandro Katz' Mesopotamia had a rare showing on its zig-zag screen at the International Festival of New Cinema 
in Montreal last fall. Two projectors work simultaneously to produce the corrugated images. 



preferably by letter with publicity materials, 
although phone calls will do under time 
limitations. They will let you know if they 
want to see your film and how to deliver it to 
them. The official entry date extends through 
July; 1983 festival dates are Sept. 8-18. 
No fee. Contact: S. Wayne Clarkson, 
Anne MacKenzie, Festival of Festivals, 69 
Yorkville Ave., Suite 206, Toronto, Ontario 
M5R 1B7, CANADA; tel: (416) 967-7371. 
— Melody Pariser 

Montreal— World 

Conspicuously absent from the opening 
ceremonies of the 1982 Montreal World Film 
Festival was director Serge Losique 
— probably due to an abundance of pre- 
festival attention as a result of a $1,000,000 
lawsuit he sprang on independent distributors 
"attempting to sabotage [the festival's] 
operations in 1982." French entertainment 
conglomerate Gaumont decided to use Col- 
umbia as a distributor of its films in Canada, 
concurrently announcing Losique as having 
been appointed an advisor to the deal, which 
he denies. Independent distributors contend 
this placed the festival director in a position of 
possible conflict of interest and asked for a 
boycott of the festival, which resulted in last- 
minute schedule changes. Losique countered 
the accusation by suing the independent 
distributors, charging them with "having 
undertaken a systematic campaign of slander 
and libel against [Losique and the festival]." 

Losique's action prompted the decision of 
the Board of the Institute of Quebec Cinema 
to hold back a promised festival subsidy of 
$50,000. Per Helene Dube, spokesperson for 
IQC, explained, "We felt we couldn't provide 
more funds to Losique so that he can turn 
around and sue our members." Funds were 
then diverted from the $800,000 budget for 
side competitions to rescue last year's main 



event, which included "Spanish Cinema of 
Today," "Latin American Cinema" 
and "Cinema of Today and Tomorrow." 
Homage to Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, 
Barbara Stanwyck and Lana Turner further 
proved Montreal's heavy commercial em- 
phasis. Losique's influence makes the fest 
heavily European- and Canadian-oriented. 
Less attention is given to US entries, although 
Variety reported that the event has had to beg 
to obtain Hollywood features, due to studio 
reluctance to provide them for festivals. 

An international jury including Los 
Angeles Times film critic Kevin Thomas and 
an audience of over 150,000 viewed the 75 
features and 42 shorts at the five-plex (good 
for screen-hopping) Parisian theatre, located 
near the downtown campus of the University 
of Quebec. Nearby Rue St. Denis is lined with 
cafes for the times when your eyes tire. 

Montreal accepts 35mm features and shorts 
under 30 minutes for the main competition. 
They must be Canadian premieres, but since 
Montreal (Aug. 18-28) precedes Toronto, this 
should not present a problem for those in- 
terested in both. Canadian critics attend en 
masse and the films receive national 
newspaper and broadcast coverage, right up 
to the live telecast of the closing ceremonies 
via Radio Canada. The Francophone press is 
particularly thorough about the Montreal 
festival, and a snappy review in French can be 
an asset when storming French festivals on 
the continent. Enter by mid-July. No fee; en- 
trant pays all postage. Contact: Montreal 
World Film Festival, 1455 de Maisonneuve 
Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8, 
CANADA; tel: (514) 879-4057, 7285. — MP 

Montreal— New Cinema 

While dwarfed in size and budget by the 
two major Canadian fests, the International 
Festival of New Cinema, also in Montreal, is a 

JUNE •1083 



THE INDEPENDENT 



giant in progressive and independent pro- 
gramming. Over 50 filmmakers from Europe, 
Canada and the US joined there in 1982 in 
what co-director Claude Chamberlan called 
the "spirit of exchanging ideas on all levels of 
independent film." Films by artists like Raul 
Ruiz, Peter Rose, Chantal Ackerman, Robert 
Frank, Robert Young, Fred Wiseman, Doris 
Chase, Marguerite Duras, Emile De Antonio, 
Ulrike Ottinger, Jean-Marie Straub and Paul 
Morrissey were screened last year for au- 
diences totaling approximately 25,000 people. 

According to Chamberlan, the government 
has repeatedly tried to get Cinema Parallele, 
the sponsor of the Festival, to incorporate 
their program into the larger World Film 
Festival. But they've resisted, he explains, 
because the films would get less attention 
there. Reportedly there is much greater press 
attendance at the larger festival, but if you 
can't get them to see your film, numbers 
become irrelevant. 

Chamberlan said the festival was trying to 
deal with the "prejudice" among film buyers 
and press against independent filmmaking by 
creating a social atmosphere where people can 
meet the filmmakers. Alexandre Rockwell 
who attended last year with his feature film 
Lenz, concurred, calling the ambience "very 
intimate and tightly knit"; people were very 
accessible and you get to meet everyone. He 
called it much more informal than London or 
Berlin. 

Chamberlan said that four or five films 
were sold to TV last year, and that the festival 
organizers are working actively to create a 
Canadian distribution network for indepen- 
dent films. (The new Canadian pay-TV 
systems have just started doing business, and 
American distributors have reported brisk 
sales.) While the festival has grown steadily 
over its eleven-year history, aiming toward, as 
Chamberlan puts it, "gaining ground for 
films we believe in," they have monitored 
their growth carefully, maintaining the fest- 
ival's character of discovering new films and 
new filmmakers. 

The 1982 program was heavily biased 
toward feature films, although Chamberlan 
says they will seek a better balance among 
shorts, features and documentaries next year, 
A video section was added in 1981 and seems 
to be growing. There's a rare openness for the 
innovative and unconventional, as Leandro 
Katz found, who showed his film for zig-zag 
screen and two projectors, Metropotamia. All 
the events were well-attended, said Katz, and 
his work was well-received. 

Festival co-director Dimitri Epides travels 
extensively throughout the spring and sum- 
mer scouting new films, and he and 
Chamberlan willl be in New York in August 
or September. Contact them at Cinema 
Parallele, 3684 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, 
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2V4 CANADA; tel: 
(514) 843-4725/4711. A selection of films 
from the festival is also exhibited in nearby 
Quebec City after the Montreal dates, which 
are Nov. 4-13. — WL 

JUNE* 1983 



Capital Resources 

Looking for a location in Louisiana? Crying for a 
crew in Colorado? Aching to edit in Alaska? The ever- 
enterprising staff of AIVF has compiled a library of 
production information from US state and city film 
commissions. Helpful resources include maps, hotel 
and restaurant guides, photo essays of available 
locations, addresses and phone numbers of union 
locals, production companies, equipment rental and 
talent agencies. Even animals and airplanes can be 
found. Many film commissions provide free liaison 
and information services. Most have toll-free 
numbers. Directories are on file at AIVF for 
reference only. 



IN BRIEF 



This month 's additional festivals have been com- 
piled by Melody Pariser and Wendy Lidell with the 
help of Gadney's Guides and the FIVF files. 
Listings do not constitute an endorsement, and 
since some details change faster than we do, we 
recommend that you contact the festival for further 
information before sending prints or tapes. If your 
experience with a festival differs from our account, 
please let us know so we can improve our reliability. 

Domestic 

• B UMBERSHOO T IN VITA TIONA L FILM 
FESTIVAL, Sept. 2-5, is limited this year to Seattle 
filmmakers only, due to last year's abundance of 
entries. Selected entries in 16 or 35mm film or 3 A " 
video are screened as part of the Seattle Arts 
Festival. Filmmakers chosen receive a rental fee of 
$3 per minute. No entry fee; filmmaker pays return 
postage. Deadline: July 1. Contact: Chris Curtis, 
BFF, 2414 Second Ave., Seattle WA 98121; (206) 
622-7656. 

• CINEMAGIC SVA SHORT FILM SEARCH, 
November, wants to help new filmmaking talent 
through promotion of CineMagic magazine. 
Science fiction, horror, fantasy & animated films 
are sought, maximum 15 min. Super-8 & 16mm on- 
ly; gauges judged separately. Trophies & donated 
film equipment are awarded. CineMagic's manag- 
ing editor noted that last year's festival took place 
at Xenon's, a New York night club, drawing a 
"good-sized crowd." He added that patrons were 
invited to stay after the event free of charge. Entry 
fee: $5; festival pays return postage. Deadline: Oct. 
1. Contact: John Clayton, 475 Park Ave. South, 
New York NY 10016; (212) 689-2830. 

• COLUMBUS INTERNATIONAL FILM FES- 
TIVAL, Oct. 27, now in its 31st year, runs a respec- 
table, well-organized event, but seems to exist for 
the sole purpose of handing out impressive-looking 
awards to anyone who can afford the $65 to $200 
entry fee. Every entry wins at least honorable men- 
tion, so the awards may not carry the status they 
once did. Subdivisions in these ten categories allow 
the festival to adapt its requirements to all entries 
received: art & culture, business & industry, educa- 
tion, filmstrips, health & medicine, religion & 
ethics, social studies, travel — US & foreign, 
videotapes, promotional materials for films. After 
the festival, people in the above-mentioned fields 
are informed of available work entered. Columbus 
requests 16mm films & TV spot announcements, 
V* " videotapes, filmstrips & promotional material 
for films. Deadline: July 8. Contact: Patty Cary, 
Film Council of Greater Columbus, PO Box 2335, 
Columbus OH 43216; (614) 228-5613, 889-0795. 



VIDEO 



w 



POST- 
PRODUCTION 



$20-$30 

JVC SYSTEM 8200 

DIGITAL TIME BASE CORRECTOR 

GRAPHICS CAMERA 

CHARACTER GENERATOR 

PRODUCTION SWITCHER 

IN-HOUSE STUDIO PRODUCTION 

DUBS: VHS — U-MATIC — VHS 

SLO-MO / FREEZE / REVERSE / '/> " 

R/R COPIES / COLOR 8650 

AUDIO MIXER / EQUALIZER 

EFP PRODUCTION 

WITH IKEGAMI ITC 730 



PEKART VIDEO 

212-966-7786 



cineaste 



Published continually since 1967, 
Cineaste is today internationally rec- 
ognized as America's leading maga- 
zine on the art and politics ot the 
cinema. "A trenchant, eternally 
zestful magazine," says the Interna- 
tional Film Guide, "in the forefront 
of American film periodicals. 
Cineaste always has something 
worth reading, and it permits its 
writers more space to develop ideas 
than most magazines." 

Published quarterly, Cineaste 
covers the entire world of cinema — 
including Hollywood, the indepen- 
dents, Europe, and the Third World 
— with exclusive interviews, lively 
articles, and in-depth reviews. Sub- 
scribe now, or send $2 for a sample 
copy, and see what you've been 
missing! 

$7 ($12 Foreign) for 4 issues 

Cineaste 

419 Park Avenue South 

New York, NY 10016 



23 



THE INDEPENDENT 




THE KNOWLEDGEABLE 

ENTERTAINMENT 

INSURANCE BROKER 

AFFORDABLE INSURANCE FOR 

M0VIES»TV« INDEPENDENTS 

COMMERCIALS«VIDEO»THEATRE 

MULTI- MEDIA»SPECIAL EVENTS 

EQUIPMENT»STUDIOS«LABS»GENERAL LIABILITIES 

NYC PERMITS»SHORT TERM 

RENTALS* UNIQUE PROGRAMS«ERRORS & 

OMISSIONS LIABILITIES* NEGATIVE 

FILM//VIDEOTAPE«SHORT & LONG TERM 

COVERAGES 



CONSULTING 

COMPETITIVE^FAST SERVICE 



1.5 

pounds 




3.75 pounds 9.35 x 1 .87 x 6.6" 

2 Audio/1 Sync. 




6.6 pounds 9.25x2.3x7.25" 

Conversions by THE FILM GROUP 

SENNHEISER BOLEX ELMO 

AKG BEAULIEU A-T MICS 

SONY GOKO MILLER 

UHER ORYTEC NIZO 

JVC Bogen SANKYO 

LOWEL-LIGHT SPECTRA 

WIDELUX 



JAC 



'ARPENTER (CINE) 

P.O. BOX 1321 
MEADVILLE, PA 16335-0321 



• EXPOSE YOURSELF FILM FESTIVAL, 
September, gives films by local filmmakers the op- 
portunity for exposure to an audience. Entertain- 
ment value has high priority, since films are shown 
in conjunction w/ a repertory theater. Entry 
restricted to MD, VA and DC residents. 16mm on- 
ly; 25 min. maximum. No entry fee. Deadline: 
August. Contact: Jeffrey Hyde, Biograph Theater 
Group, 2819 M St. NW, Washington DC 20007; 
(202) 338-0707. 

• NORTHWEST FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, 
Aug. 8-24, aims to help up-and-coming filmmakers 
receive feedback by comparing work w/ other film- 
makers. Residents of OR, WA, AK, ID, MT & BC 
invited to submit any film or video work. Money is 
heavily spent on mailings to the press, & the festival 
can boast Village Voice film/video critic Jim 
Hobermanasa 1982 judge. Winners receive $150 or 
local lab credit; number of winners depends on 
judges' decision. No entry fee. Deadline: July 15. 
Judging: July 15-31. Contact: Chuck Bischoff or 
Bill Foster, NW Film Study Center, Portland Art 
Association, 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland OR 
97205; (503)221-1156. 

• SAN ANTONIO CINEFESTIVAL, Aug. 25-27, 
"provides an opportunity for Latinos & Chicanos 
to meet on a grand level of filmmaking & share their 
work," according to coordinator Eduardo Diaz. 
Media produced in any gauge (16mm & Vt " pre- 
ferred) are welcome from any film or videomaker 
with a Spanish-language background, provided the 
film has "clearly to do with the Chicano or Latino 
experience." Two symposia are currently an- 
ticipated: one discussing Hispanic images in film & 
TV, another explaining how to get films funded. 
Diaz hopes to do a restrospective on Chicano 
cinema as well, emphasizing the 1953 film Salt of 
the Earth, which depicted the struggle of Chicano 
miners & their families. Even though the festival is 
not a competition, it receives national press 
coverage in such papers as Variety, Broadcasting, 
Nuestro & Caminos. There is no entry fee, thanks 
to private funding from San Antonio patrons. If 
film is in Spanish, please send a print w/ English 
subtitles. Tentative deadline: June or early July. 
Contact: Eduardo Diaz or Ana Maria Pena, San 
Antonio CineFestival, Guadalupe Cultural Arts 
Center, 1300 Guadalupe St., San Antonio TX 
78207; (512)271-3151. 

• SAN MATEO COUNTR Y FAIR FAIR WORLD 
FESTIVAL, July 22-31, is a multi-arts festival w/ 
separate film & video sections. Film should be 
made w/ "amateur intent" & have received no out- 
side funding from professional sources. Winners in 
4 categories receive $100 each; film & video judged 
separately. Super-8 & 16mm up to 30 min. accep- 
table; 3 A " videotape only. Deadline: July 7. Con- 
tact: Lois Kelley, San Mateo Country Fair, PO Box 
1207, San Mateo CA 94403; (415) 574-FAIR. 

• TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL, Labor Day 
weekend. Accepting premieres only, Telluride is the 
first stop on the major American festival circuit. 
They seek "the undiscovered, the unknown & the 
rare," & while the festival's emphasis is clearly on 
feature films, they "look at everything [they] get" 
& do program shorts & documentaries. What 
makes Telluride special is its small-town setting, 
which makes it impossible not to meet everybody. 
All are equal: stars, indies, critics & spectators. It's 
also the annual meeting place of the Association of 
Specialized Film Exhibitors, owners of art houses 
across the country. The selection committee (Bill & 
Stella Pence, Tom Luddy & Bill Everson) look at 




Roses in December: The Story of Jean Donovan by Ana 
Carigan deals with the rape and murder of Catholic 
missionaries in El Salvador. It won "Best Documenta- 
ry" in Mannheim. 

films in June, July & August. Send your entry, the 
sooner the better, to Telluride FF, Nat'l Film 
Preserve, 119 West Colorado Ave., Telluride CO 
81435; (303) 728-4401. For more info, see 
"Festivals" in the June '82 Independent & the inter- 
view w/ Stella Pence in the Sept. '82 Independent. 



Foreign 



24 



• BANFF INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
FILMS FOR TELEVISION, September, provides 
a competitive showcase to encourage development 
of the Canadian film industry. The Bank of Mon- 
treal powerfully supports Banff, not only financial- 
ly through annual $150,000 contributions, but also 
w/ a successful public relations campaign. The 
Alberta government also pledges $200,000. Entries 
must have been broadcast the previous year, & 
should be sent on l A " videocassette. Prizes for film 
in 6 categories vary from trophies to cash awards; 
grand prize $5,000. Entry fee: $100 (in Canadian 
$). Deadline: Aug. 1, Contact: Carrie L. Hunter, 
BIFFTV, Banff Centre, PO Box 1020, Banff, 
Alberta TOL 0C0, CANADA; tel: (403) 
762-6247/8. 

• BESANCON INTERNA TIONAL MUSICAL & 
CHOREOGRAPHIC FILM FESTIVAL, October, 
requests documentaries or features relating to 
music & choreography. Maximum 3 entries per 
country in 16 or 35mm or videocassette. Prizes 
awarded by international jury; one by public vote. 
No entry fee. Deadline: August. Contact: Pierre 
LaGrange, 2d rue Isenbart, 2500 Besancon, 
FRANCE; tel: (16-81) 80.73.26. 

• CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR 
FILM FESTIVAL, September, encourages 
amateur cinematography through competition. 
Festival provides touring exhibition of winning 
films. Amateurs, independents & students judged 
separately. Entries in Super-8 or 16mm; maximum 
length 30 min. Trophies awarded. Canadian entry 
fee: $5; festival pays return postage. Deadline: July 
1. Contact: Betty Peterson, CIAFF, 4653 Dundas 
St. West, Islington, Ontario M91 1A4, CANADA; 
tel: (416)231-8903. 

JUNE •1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



• INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF NEW 
SUPERS CINEMA, Aug. 8-14, provides showcase 
focusing primarily on new S-8 filmmakers. Festival 
is well-publicized in Venezuela, conducts daytime 
workshops & evening parties at mountainside 
villas. SRO audiences view the competition nightly, 
further proving cineaste-poet Fernando Bird's 
opening-day declaration proclaiming the festival 
the "Cannes of Super-8." Winning filmmakers 
receive approximately $1,500 & opportunity to 
show their work on French TV. Further informa- 
tion can be provided by AIVF member Toni Tread- 
way, 63 Dimick St, Somerville MA 02143; (617) 
666-3372. No fee; entrants pay $10 for return 
postage. Deadline: early July. Contact: Carlos & 
Lisette Castillo, Calle Passo Real, Quinta Linda, 
Prados del Este, Caracas, VENEZUELA; tel: 
582-771-367. 

• INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF NA- 
TURE, MAN & HIS ENVIRONMENT, 
November, presents films which contribute to con- 
servation of nature, protection of human environ- 
ment & defense of historical & artistic character of 
towns. Festival is non-competitive; films selected 
receive diploma of participation. Wide range of 
categories permits any film in 16 or 35mm; 
animated works also welcome. Organizers en- 
courage distribution of films accepted. No entry 
fee; filmmaker pays all transport costs. Deadline: 
July 31. Contact: Liborio Rao, Via di Villa Patrizi 
10, 000161 Rome, ITALY; tel: 421.901, 841.481. 

• INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FILM FESTI- 
VAL, Sept. -Oct., promotes films whose themes & 
problems concern life of young people, & has a 
special place for work by young filmmakers. Non- 
competitive festival has 4 sections: films on youth 
themes, "First Productions," retrospective of 
"First Productions," & an open section reserved 
for filmmakers 30 & under. Festival will cover all 
expenses of filmmakers admitted, in all but open 
section — these participants will receive accomoda- 
tions & restaurant service but must assume travel 
expenses. Entrants must notify festival by cable of 
shipment date & transport means; return postage 
paid. All films considered; no entry fee. Deadline: 
Early July. Contact: Festival Internazionale 
Cinema Giovani, Direzione e Segreteria, Galleria 
Subalpina — Cinema Romano, 10123 Turin, ITA- 
LY; tel: (011)54.71.71. 

• LONDON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, November. This major European festival has 
been especially receptive to American independents 
over the years. Not only is there a special category 
for "US Independents," but American indies are 
also f showcased in categories for "New Directors" 
& "Controversy." Director Ken Wlaschin routinely 
scouts festivals like Filmex, Venice & Edinburgh 
for entries; he will be in NY in August. His NY 
representative, Vittoria Tarlow, will be accepting 
entries of dramatic & documentary films over 70 
min. Send two 3x5 " index cards with film title, pro- 
ducer, director, running time & contact person. 
Please indicate whether film is documentary or fic- 
tion, b/w or color. Additional press material is also 
helpful. Then call her by July 1. You will have to 
provide your own screening facilities: screen, flat- 
bed or video; & if you are outside NYC, they ask 
that you make some arrangements there through a 
friend. Although shorts are programmed in the 
festival, Tarlow says most of them this year will be 
British, & anything else will be picked up by 
Wlaschin at other festivals, so submit features only 
please. Contact Vittoria Tarlow, 195 Prince St., 
New York NY 10012, (212) 674-3198. To contact 
the festival directly: National Film Theater, South 

JUNE •1963 



Group Shipments 

If three or more film/videomakers plan 

to enter the same foreign festival, 

FIVF can arrange a group shipment, 

thereby saving you money! What you 

must do is drop us a note telling us 

what festival you are planning to enter, 

and if we get enough interest in one. 

we will call you. 



Bank, London SEl 8XT, ENGLAND; (01) 
928-3842. 

• MANNHEIM INTERNATIONAL FILM 
WEEK, second week of October, is primarily a 
first-class documentary showcase. They also accept 
some short fiction, & award DM 10,000 (c. $5,000) 
to the best first feature film. They show a strong 
bias toward progressive & social issue films, & 
prefer European premieres. Last year's American 
entries, selected by Penny Bernstein of New Times 
Films, won 8 prizes including a special jury mention 
for excellence in a national body of work. They 
were No Place to Hide, Close Harmony, Family 
Business, A Crime to Fit the Punishment, Fire on 
the Water, Pink Triangles, & Roses in December, 
which won the prize for best documentary. A num- 
ber of TV sales have reportedly been made pursuant 
to screenings at Mannheim. Selections will be made 
in June & July. For more info, send SASE to Festi- 
val Bureau, FIVF, 625 Broadway, New York NY 
10012 (no calls please). 

• MEDIKINALE MARBURG INTERNATION- 
AL COMPETITION FOR MEDICAL FILMS, 
September, welcomes recent documentaries on 
medicine, medical research & teaching, physician & 
public health education. Festival judged by a physi- 
cian, specialist, medical journalist, film director, 
medical student & lay judges; wide variety of 
awards. 16mm, Super-8, videotapes in constantly 
changing categories. Entry fee: approx. $75; festi- 
val pays return postage. Deadline: Aug. 1 . Contact: 



German Green Cross, Dr. Herbert Schreiner, 
Schuhmarkt 4, D-3550 Marburg-Lahn, WEST 
GERMANY; tel: 6421-24044. 

• NYON INTERNA TIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 
October, is almost exclusively devoted to documen- 
taries in 16 & 35mm on social & political issues, but 
w/ due attention to psychological, cultural & relig- 
ious themes, insofar as they illuminate the human 
condition. Documentaries of any length accepted. 
American films do well at Nyon & have won many 
prizes over the years, including a special jury prize 
to Sharon Sopher's Blood and Sand in 1982. Swiss 
media professionals, European journalists & com- 
mercial people attend the festival. TV & theatrical 
buyers who wish to contact producers will be pro- 
vided w/ documentation supplied on entry forms. 
The director of Nyon, Erika de Hadeln, is expected 
to make selections in NY sometime in late June & 
will probably be accompanied by her husband 
Moritz de Hadeln, co-director of the Berlin festi- 
val. Both can be contacted through Gordon Hit- 
chens, 214 West 85 St., #3-W, NY NY 10024, (212) 
877-6856, who can provide more info & entry 
forms. No entry fees; festival provides round-trip 
air freight for participating films. Direct entries due 
in Switzerland by Sept. Contact: Erika de Hadeln, 
PO Box 98, CH-1260Nyon, SWITZERLAND; tel: 
(022)61.60.60. 

• TECHFILM INTERNA TIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL ON SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL PROG- 
RESS, October, invites films on scientific/techni- 
cal progress in an effort to increase labor efficien- 
cy, improve production technology & upgrade use 
of energy, natural resources & living/working con- 
ditions. Festival has variety of awards & honorable 
mentions; all participants receive a diploma. 
Categories: science & research, popular science, in- 
struction & teaching, documentary, information, 
TV films & series. Entries should be in 16 or 35mm, 
maximum 25 min.; 30 min. for TV films. Entry fee: 
85 Swiss francs or 15 roubles. Deadline: July 30. 
Contact: Frantisek Kopecky, Kratky Film, Infor 
Film Servis Prague, Stepanska 42, 1 10 00 Prague 1 , 
CZECHOSLOVAKIA; tel: 26-64-61, 22-61-79. 



AIVF NOTICES 



NOTICES are listed free of charge. AIVF 
members receive first priority; others in- 
cluded as space permits. Send notices to 
THE INDEPENDENT do FIVF, 625 Broad- 



way, 9th Floor, New York NY 10012. For fur- 
ther info, call (212) 473-3400. Deadline: 8th 
of second preceding month (e.g. May 8 for 
July/August). Edited by Mary Guzzy. 



Buy • Rent • Sell 



• FOR SALE: Moviola M-77 6-plate flatbed, very 
good condition: $5500. Moviola 4-plate, very good 
condition: $4500. 16mm film stock, 8 rolls 7242 
color reversal, refrigerated: $25/400'. Contact: 
Fred, (212) 253-4733, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Auricon double-system camera, 
crystal conversion by Mitch Bogdanovich, runs on 
110V-AC & 12V-AC; 2 mags; shoulder rest: best 
offer. Beaulieu 16RPZ auto exposure/power zoom 
camera w/ 12-120 Angenieux; 2 batteries; charger; 
case: best offer. Contact: Doug Hart, (212) 
937-7250, NY. 

• PENNY WARD VIDEO SER VICES A VAIL A - 
BLE: Sony DXC 1800 camera; Beta I portapak; 
mic; monitor: $150/day w/operator. Vi " Beta I to 
Vi " transfers: $5/hr. Vi " Beta & 3 /4 " viewing: 



$5/hr. Documentation of dance, theatre perform- 
ances & workshops; rates negotiable. Call: (212) 
228-1427, NY. 

• FOR SALE: 35mm production package. 35mm 
Arriflex IIB camera, mint condition w/synch signal 
generator & synch cable; soft-front lens shade w/ 
adjustable filter holder; hard-front lens shade & 
filter holder; constant-speed motor & cable, 
variable-spee'd motor & cable; Angenieux zoom 
lens 35-140mm f3.5; Zeiss Sonnar 85mm f2; Zeiss 
Sonnar 50mm fl.5; Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2; 
Schneider Xenon 28mm f2; Kinoptik 18mm f2.2; 
Angenieux Retrofocus 14.5mm f3.5; five 480' 
mags; two 200 ' mags; combination carrying case 
for 35mm Arri & three mags; two Arri high-hats/ 
tripod adaptors; two Nicad batteries w/chargers, 
7.5 & 15 volts; Cine 60 battery belt w/chargers, 8.4 
& 16.8 volts; Uher 1000 Report Pilot synch record- 
er; Uher voltage & battery charger, 110-7.5 volts; 
Uher microphone; Canon plug adaptor cable; 
60-cycle crystal synch generator for Uher recorder; 

25 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Moviola 35mm table-top picture viewer, footage 
counter & take-up arms; synchronizer, 35mm four- 
gang w/mag head; synchronizer, 35mm-16mm 
combo w/footage counters; amplifier squawk box 
w/ two mag head inputs; splicer, 35mm guillotine, 
straight & diagonal combination. Total price: 
$6750. Call: (212) 879-0990, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Moviola M86 flatbed editor; 
flicker-free prism; low wow & flutter; quick-stop § 
circuit; torque motor box. 3 years old, excellent^ 
condition. Fair price. Contact: Ron, (617) g 
354-6054, MA. 

• FOR SALE: Kinoptik 5.7mm C-mount: $500. 
Kinoptik 9mm, fair: $250. NPR body, works but 
noisy: $500. Frezzi; cordless crystal;. 2 mags; 
12-120mm; charger: $1500. Call: (817) 461-1228 
late, TX. 

• WANTED: Sony HVC 2200 or equiv. camera or 
crystal cassette recorder, XSD etc. Call: (817) 
461-1228 late, TX. 

• FOR SALE: Sound blimp for Nizo 801 S-8 § 
camera, used once: $80. Contact: Mike Cady, (206) g 
322-9010, WA. ^ 

TO 

• FOR SALE: Sony 2610 3 A " videocassette" 
recorder w/RF playback unit; Sony SLO-383 Beta 
videocassette recorder w/editing function. Both in 
excellent condition. Call: (212) 924-7364, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Magnasync system, priced to sell. 
220 recorder/reproducer; 2 602 dubbers; mixer; 
Selsyn interlock system; interlock projector. All 
rack-mounted & perfect condition. Angenieux 
12-120: $800. Canon 12-120 macrolens; Kling time- 
lapse animation system; Uher 4000L recorder; 
1200 ' mag for Arri BL. Call: (512) 478-2971, TX. 

• FOR SALE: 2 Schoeps CMC4 colette amps; 
Schoeps MK5 selectable cardioid-omni capsule; 
Schoeps MK6 selectable cardioid-omni-bidirec- 
tional capsule; Sennheiser 815 mic system w/ foam 
& hard windscreens; mount; cable; case; custom 
"Alper" shock mount. Everything impeccable. 
Contact: Richard Brick, (212) 925-8877, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Elmo GS1200 S-8 projectors con- 
verted for telecine projection at 24 fps. Replaces 
16mm & 35mm projector in film chain or w/ uni- 
plexer or multiplexer for easy video transfer. Com- 
plete S-8 projector system: $1495. Uniplexers start 
$150. Your GS1200 projector converted: $495. 
Contact: Super-8 Sound, 95 Harvey St., Cam- 
bridge MA 02140, (617) 876-5876. 

• FOR RENT: Panasonic 3990 low-light camera; 
Sony VO-4800; 4 BP-60 batteries; 5 " monitor w/ 
battery; fluid-head tripod; Sennheiser mic; lav; 
Smith-Victor lights; cords & access.; very portable: 
$225/day w/operator. Contact: Alan/Caryn, (212) 
222-3321, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Bolex H-16 16mm camera w/case; 
Switar 25mm f 1 .4 lens & Elgeet 75 f 1 .9 lens: $325. 
Bell & Howell Filmo 240 w/ Super Comat 20mm 
fl.9 & Schneider-Xenar 75mm f2.8 lens: $150. 
Contact: Dan Klugherz, (212) 595-0058, NY. 

• FOR RENT: Complete broadcast-quality pro- 
duction pkg. includes Ikegami HL-83; 3 A " JVC 
4700U; Videotek color monitor; wave-form; mics; 
lights & tripod. Production personnel also availa- 
ble. Competitive rates. Contact Everglade Prod., 
(212) 925-1247, NY. 

26 



• FOR SALE: Oxenberry, complete lg. animation 
system; camera model 25-AN, serial # 127-B: 
$38,000. Sony AV-3600 & AV-3650 video 
recorders: best offer. 2 Sony AV-8400 w/cameras 
& power adaptor: best offer. 2 Mitchell cameras, 
models SS-33: $2,500. GCN, serial #1129: best of- 
fer. 3 Sony PV-120U/VTE-2, best offer. Call: (201) 
988-0040, NJ. 




New Tape: Declaration of Independents by Robin Reidy 
& Bill Thompson. 



• FOR RENT: Ikegami HL-79, BVU-110, lights, 
mics, car: $450/day. Crew additional as required. 
Contact: Videotrac, (212) 473-6947, NY. 

• PROFESSIONAL VIDEO REPAIR & 
MAINTENANCE of broadcast & industrial 
cameras, decks, monitors; calibrate wave-forms 
etc. Buy & sell used equipment. Contact: 
Videotrac, (212) 473-6947, NY. 

• FOR SALE: Arri BL w/ 1 magazine, Zeiss 
10-100mm, T3.5 lens, changing bag, 1 battery belt, 
1 synch cable, metal case: $15,000. Serviced mon- 
thly under service contract & in excellent condition. 
Contact: Afua Graham, Young Filmakers, 4 Riv- 
ington St., NY NY 10002, (212) 673-9361. 

• FOR SALE: Film equipment & accessories. 
Nagra E; Bolex H-16 RX camera w/ 3 prime lenses; 
S-8 cameras; 16mm telecine projector; Buhle 
mobile multiplexer; Uher reel-to-reel ATRs; 
tripods; 16mm Moviscop & S-8 viewers; 16mm 
rewinds w/ long & short shafts; editing bench; 
misc. other items & supplies. Superb to middling 
condition. Contact: Afua Graham, Young 
Filmakers, 4 Rivington St., NY NY 10002, (212) 
673-9361. 



Editing Facilities 

• OFF-LINE EDITING: Inter-format system; Vi " 
Beta to 3 A " VO-5850 transfer. Excellent for 



documentary. 20x search speed, cuts only; sound 
mix; time code dubs & copies. Rates on request. 
Call: (212) 924-7364, NY. 

• SONY BVU 3 /4" EDITING: $25/hr. w/editor. 
Contact: Kathy Abbott/Karen Ranucci, (212) 
242-2320, NY. 

• SONY TYPE V EDITING EQUIPMENT: Ex- 
cellent hourly rate if you use average 10 hrs. or 
more editing time per month. Contact: Michael 
Schwartz, (212) 925-7771/966-6009, NY. 

• 8-PLATE KEM: Long-term rental. Reasonable. 
Contact: Pat Russell, (212) 541-6470, leave 
message, NY. 

• 6-PLATE STEENBECK for rent. 16mm & 
35mm w/room: $700/mo. Contact: Ernest Hood, 
Cabin Creek Center, (212) 533-7157, NY. 

• TWO COMPLETE EDIT ROOMS in Chelsea: 

(A) 24-hr. access; Moviola flatbed w/ torque motor 
box; complete 16mm edit equipment; complete kit- 
chen & bathroom; minimal office facilities; 
telephone; air conditioning. (B) 10 am - 6 pm ac- 
cess; Steenbeck; complete 16mm edit equipment; 
ltd. kitchen, bath facilities; private phone; air con- 
ditioning; transfer & projection facilities; special- 
ized edit equipment available at extra cost. Con- 
tact: David Loucka, Lance Bird, (212) 924-1960, 
NY. 

• FULLY EQUIPPED rooms for 16/35mm 
editing & post-production available. Video editing, 
sound transfers, narration recording, extensive 
sound effects library, interlock screening. Contact: 
Cinetudes Film Prods., 295 West 4 St., NY NY 
10014, (212) 966-4600. 

• 29th STREET VIDEO, "where the best edits 
costs less," offers Va " video editing & production 
svcs. Sony 5850 decks, RM-440 editor, Microgen 
character generator, fade-to-black, audio mixer, 
mics, audiocassette tape recorders & more. Produc- 
tion svcs. included JVC KY-2000 camera, Sony 
4800 deck, tripod, production mics, lights, more. 
Contact: Tami/David, (212) 594-7530, NY. 

• FULLY EQUIPPED 1 6mm EDITING ROOM: 
6-plate Moviola flatbed w/torque motor control; 
phone; bathroom & kitchen. Good rates. Contact: 
John/Steve, Pico-Bronson Studios, (213) 
732-0605, CA. 

• SELF-SERVICE EDITING: V\ " JVC 
Tapehandlers, RM-88U editor: $15/hr. Free in- 
structon. Also, transfers, dubs etc. Contact: 
Videotrac, (212) 473-6947, NY. 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

• PELICAN FILMS distributes films to health 
care profession, but short films & tapes for all 
markets welcome. Alternatives to traditional 
distribution arrangements offered., Contact: Ar- 
thur Hoyle, 3010 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 440, 
Santa Monica CA 90404, (213) 399-3753. 

• FOX/LORBER ASSOCIATES, specialists in 
TV marketing & distribution, expanding feature 
film library for representation. Interested in full- 
length English-language films w/ primarily nar- 
rative structure for sale to pay TV/cable, broadcast 
& home video, both domestic & foreign. Minimum 
length: 60 min.; no subtitles. Contact: Ericka 

JUNE91983 



Markman, Fox/Lorber Assoc, 79 Madison Ave., 
Ste. 601, NY NY 10016, (212) 686-6777. 

• VIDEO INSTALLATION 1983: Call for new 
site-specific works. 5 works will be chosen for in- 
stallation, Oct. 1983; each artist receives $1000 
honorarium. 10 additional proposals will receive 
$250 awards. Extensive catalog will be published on 
all works honored. Send: resume; typed narrative & 
working drawings (floor plans available); projected 
budget for shipping, construction, tech. assistance 
& equipment requirements; documentation of 
previous projects; SASE for any return materials. 
Production & post-production funding not 
available. Deadline: June 1, 1983. Contact: Nancy 
Stalnaker Norwood, Visual Studies Workshop, 31 
Prince St., Rochester NY 14607, (716) 442-8676. 

• COE FILM ASSOCIATES, largest US 
distributors of short films & documentaries to TV, 
seek independent films for domestic & foreign 
distribution. Animation, live action, 3 min. to 
feature-length. Complete clearances required. 
16mm & Va " cassettes accepted for screening. Con- 
tact: Susan Eenigenburg/Beverly Freeman, CFA, 
65 East 96 St., NY NY 10028, (212) 831-5355. 

• FILM PULSE, weekly screening program at 
Agee Room, seeks independent films for non- 
commercial distribution. Send resume & one 
paragraph about each film. Contact: Center for 
Public Cinema, 144 Bleecker St., NY NY 10012. 

• SILK SCREEN seeks high-quality dramatic & 
documentary works by Asian-Americans that fully 
express Asian-American experience to premiere in 
magazine-format radio & TV program. Contact: 
James Yee/Louise Lo, National Asian American 
Telecommunication Assoc, 9 First St., Ste. 202, SF 
CA 94105, (415) 495-5486. 

• OL YMPIAD OF ANIMATION seeks sports- or 
competition-oriented animated films for inclusion 
in one of 2 programs to be televised publicly & in 
Olympic Village during 1984 Olympic Games in 
LA. Contact: ASIFA Hollywood Olympic Com- 
mittee, 1258 N. Highland Ave., Ste. 102, 
Hollywood CA 90038, (213) 466-0341. 

• CENTRE PRODUCTIONS seeks high-quality 
education & documentary works under 30 min.. 
relating to social studies, art & language arts for 
distribution to non-theatrical & TV markets. Con- 
tact: Centre Prods., 1327 Spruce St., Ste. #3 
Boulder CO 80302, (303) 444-1166. 

• NIGHT FLIGHT, ATI- Video cable & FM TV 
show, seeks video art for possible broadcast. Con- 
tact: Eric Trigg, 888 Seventh Ave., 21st fl., NY NY 
10106, (212) 977-2324. 

• TELEVISION IDEAS, specialist in late-night/ 
early-morning TV, seeks independent films/tapes 
for network & cable programming. Send descrip- 
tion to Laird Brooks Schmidt, TVI, 2710 West 1 10 
St., Bloomington MN 55431. 

• UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY VIDEO invites 
producers & artists to submit video works for ex- 
panded distribution service. Contact: Niel Sieling, 
Exhibition & Distribution Coord., UCV, 425 On- 
tario SE, Minneapolis MN 55414, (612) 376-3333. 

• WANTED: Video footage on foreign & social 
issues. Will trade for writing or associate producer 

JUNE •1983 



m#dernage 

PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY ^-^ 



STILLS FROM MOVIES 
BLACK & WHITE CONVERSIONS 
DUPLICATE SLIDES 
PRINTS FOR PUBLICITY 

TOPS IN QUALITY AND SERVICE 

1150 6th Ave. 212 997-1800 
312 E. 46th St. 212 661 -9190 
18 VESEY St. 212 227-4767 




Reach users with FILMNET targeted mailing lists. 

• subscribers are film/video renters and buyers (organizations and individuals) 

• who have identified specific topics of interest to them in over 50 subject categories 

• and are requesting brochures, catalogs and tapes on those topics 



FILMNET is a cost-effective way to publicize a 
theatrical release, a tv premiere, a film festival, 
or rental and purchase availability of your film 
or tape. Categories can be merged together, 
purged of duplicates, and printed in zip-code 
order on pressure sensitive or Cheshire labels. 
The resulting list targets at least 1200 users in- 
terested in your particular film or tape. 

FILMNET lists are continually up-dated and ex- 
panded, and Cine Information periodically sur- 
veys subscribers for information on their actual 
use of film and tapes. Lists are furnished on a 
rental basis for one-time use. 

Additional Lists Available 

Cine Information also offers other film-related 
mailing lists that include: 
• standard media users, for example — public 
libraries, film showcases, cinema studies 



departments, university activities program- 
mers, AV libraries, museums with film pro- 
grams • distributors • foundations • publica- 
tions (both media and general interest) 
• subject-related lists for some areas 

Cine Information, 215 West 90th Street 
New York, N.Y. 10024, (212) 873-1331 



□ FILMNET ordering information and rate schedule 
D ADDITIONAL LISTS description and rate schedule 

Name 

Department 

Organization 

Address 

City 



^State_ 



Zip. 



Send to: Cine Information 

215 West 90th Street, New York, NY 10024 



27 



THE INDEPENDENT 



skills. Contact: Marlene, (212) 255-6434, NY. t 

CL 

• EROTIC SHORT FILMS WANTED for| 
theatrical distribution. Seeking narrative,^ 
animated, experimental, hard, soft, G-rated films 
of erotic nature to include in feature-length 
package. Video considered. Contact: Tom 
Huckabee, Expanded Entertainment, 11514 Ven- 
tura Blvd., Ste. A, Studio City CA 91604, (213) 
506-0607. 

• ASIAN & ASIAN-AMERICAN ARTISTS in- 
terested in participating in Amerasia Media Service 
Project encouraged to send films, videotapes. Con- 
tact: Leslie Gladsjo, Asian Cine-Vision, 32 East 
Broadway, NY NY 10002, (212) 925-8685. 

• FILM SERIES: Filmmakers' Showcase Series, 
first Thurs. each month at Hollywood Twin 
Cinemas, 777 Eighth Ave., NY NY 10019. Submit 
brief description of finished work for considera- 
tion. Filmmakers chosen for screening receive 20% 
gate. Contact: Barbara Glasser, (212) 
246-1555/1145. 



Funds • Resources 

• CPB PROGRAM FUND DEADLINES: Un- 
solicited proposals; August 19, 1983. Guidelines 
available for Children's & Family Program pro- 
posals, series of early-evening prime-time programs 
designed to stimulate social, emotional & intellec- 
tual growth of US children. Contact: Program 
Fund, CPB, 1111 16 St. NW, Washington DC 
20036. 

• WARNER COMMUNICATIONS accepting re- 
quests for corporate contributions. Requests 
should be made by letter, including description, 
purpose, history of program or organization, sum- 
mary of need for support & how it will be used. 
Financial data — audit or budget — helpful. Con- 
tact: Virginia W. Brieant, Director, Contributions 
to the Arts, Warner Communications Inc., 75 
Rockefeller Plaza, NY NY 10019. 

• FILM FUND APPLICATIONS AND GUIDE- 
LINES 1983 now available. Deadline for applica- 
tions: June 1, 1983. Contact: Film Fund, 80 East 11 
St., Ste. 647, NY NY 10003, (212) 475-3720 

• INDEPENDENT FEATURE PROJECT com- 
piling comprehensive filmography of independent 
feature movement, 1976 to present. Publication set 
for late spring '83. Seeking essays & articles defin- 
ing independence in filmmaking & other topics 
relating to independent feature filmmaking in US. 
Contact: Paul Smart, IFP, 80 East 11 St., NY NY 
10003. 

• SUPERS SOUND offers S-8 Info Pack: 
manufacturers' brochures, tips on S-8, prices on 
S-8 equipment currently available. $3 from Philip 
Elie Vigeant, Pres., Super-8 Sound, 95 Harvey St., 
Cambridge MA 02140, (614) 876-5876. 

• FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SER- 
VICE Cable TV Grant deadline: Oct . 7 , 1 983 . Con- 
tact: FCS-CATV, 5616 Geary, Ste. 212, SF CA 
94121. 

• WOMEN'S INTERART CENTER offers media 
artist-in-residencies geared for projects requiring 
developmental time w/equipment access. Applica- 
tions accepted year-round. Contact: Ronnie Geist, 

28 




New film: Button, Button: A Dream of Nuclear War by 
Juan Mandelbaum & Frank Cantor. 

WIC, 549 West 52 St., NY NY 10019, (212) 
246-1050. 

• PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND raising 
money for projects & organizations working na- 
tionwide to promote world peace, global 
demilitarization & non-violent conflict resolution. 
Contact: PDF, PO Box 270, Amherst MA 01004. 

• UNIVERSITY FILM/ VIDEO ASSOCIATION 
development grants, $500 or less. One awarded per 
year to support film/video production & historical, 
critical, theoretical, experimental studies in 
film/video. Undergrad & grad eligible. Deadline: 
June 15. Contact: David O. Thomas, Dept. of 
Journalism, Radio & TV, Trinity Univ., 715 
Stadium Dr., San Antonio TX 78284. 

• VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP one-month 
residencies for video artists available Oct. '83-June 
'84. Artists selected receive $1000 honorarium & 
access to VSW facilities. Application deadline: 
June 1. Contact: Residencies, VSW, 31 Prince St., 
Rochester NY 14607, (716) 442-8676. 

• 20 WEST THEATRE: Permanent screening 
room for work of independent black film & 
videomakers. Contact: Jessie Maple, Director, 20 
West Theatre, 20 West 120 St., NY NY 10027, (212) 
410-2101. 

• CAPS DEADLINE for film/video production, 
playwriting/screenwriting & multi-media produc- 
tion: June 13, 1983. Contact: CAPS, 250 W. 57 St., 
NY NY 10019, (212) 247-6303. 



In £ Out of Production 

• HAITIAN SONG— done. Lyrical portrait of life 
in rural Haitian village follows commmunity 
through week's activities, focusing on rituals which 
compose texture of everyday life. Narrated in 
Creole by Haitian farmers w/ English subtitles. 
Filmmaker currently working on film about Hai- 
tian Boudou rituals. Contact: K. Kramer, (212) 
691-3470, NY. 

• LEAVING THE 20th CENTURY— done. Max 
Almy's trilogy of experimental videotapes calling 



attention to end of century & beginning of new 
millennium. Raises serious questions about 
possibilities of future. Experiments w/ variety of 
audio/visual special effects including voice pro- 
cessing, synthesized music, digital effects & Dubner 
animation. Premiered at AFI/LA. Broadcast 3/12 
on Night Flight/USA Cable; winner in Video 
Shorts III, 1983. Contact: Dale Going, (415) 
777-5777; Ken Baker Publicity Svcs., (415) 
864-2333, CA. 

• THE POPE IN CENTRAL AMERICA— done. 
Filmed March 1983 in Nicaragua. 25 min., color 
video. English & Spanish versions. Contact: Dr. 
Fred S. Lands, PO Box 886, La Jolla CA 92038. 

• BUTTON, BUTTON: A DREAM OF 
NUCLEAR WAR — done. Pageant/play conceived 
& staged by community of Stafford VT uses 
dreamlike mime sequences of myth & fantasy to 
create nuclear nightmare. Sound track includes 
folk hymns, music of Fats Waller, Verdi's Re- 
quiem. Appearance by Rev. Wm. Sloane Coffin. 
Produced by Juan Mandelbaum, directed by Frank 
Cantor, written by Esmeralda Santiago. 14 min., 
16mm or videocassette. Contact: Cantomedia, 2 
Park Plaza, Boston MA 02116, (617)451-5111. 

• EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS FREEDOM 
— done. Videotape doc of performance events pro- 
testing certification of aid to El Salvador: 
staged kidnappings & executions in downtown DC. 
Any revenues above production & distribution 
costs will go to Medical Aid for El Salvador. 17 
min., color. Contact: Chris Hornig/Nancy Gar- 
ruba, Rapid Deployment Theater Fund, 2707 
Adams Mill Rd., #404, Washington DC 20009, 
(202) 544-1900. 

• DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENTS 
— done. Video doc in which 9 indies describe their 
community of film/video artists who use tools of 
mass media to create personal visions. Excerpts of 
their work included. Features Karen Cooper, John 
Sanborn, Joan Churchill, Kathleen Dowdey, Gayla 
Jamison, Chip Lord, Mark Rappaport, Bill 
VanDerKloot & Gene Youngblood. Premiere 
broadcast 4/6/83, WETV-Atlanta. Produced, 
directed, edited by Robin Reidy & Bill Thompson. 
Contact: B. Thompson, CCTV, Georgia State 
Univ., Atlanta GA 30303, (404) 658-2241. 

• LOUDER THAN OUR WORDS: WOMEN & 
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE— done. Follows ex- 
perience of women's affinity group from discussion 
to arrest. Includes historical context of feminist 
CD — sufffragists & civil rights — & such recent 
events as Women's Pentagon Action 1981 & June 
14 Action at UN Special Session on Disarmament. 
37 min., video. By Lydia Dean Pilcher & Harriet 
Hirshorn. Contact: L. Pilcher, 801 Union St., 
Brooklyn NY 11215. 

• REACHING OUT— done. Dramatic story of a 
woman's transition from passivity to strong identi- 
ty through series of personal crises. 3 years in mak- 
ing. Produced, directed by & starring Patricia 
Russell w/ score by Elizabeth Swados. 90 min., 
35mm, color. Opens early June at Guild Embassy 
Theatre, West 72 St. /Broadway, NY. Contact: Par 
Films, (212) 581-6470, NY; (213) 501-6696, CA. 

• DES: THE TIME BOMB DRUG— done. 
Documentary examines history, marketing & 
medical consequences of diethylstilbestrol, a drug 
prescribed to pregnant women during the '40s, 
'50s, '60s. More than 6 million mothers, daughters 
& sons were exposed to chemical, whose side effects 

JUNE 9 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



include reproductive tract & genital abnormalities, 
sterility & cancer. Personal histories of victims in- 
tercut w/ medical authorities, consumer advocates, 
pharmaceutical co. representative & FDA. Produc- 
ed & directed by Stephanie Palewski. Major fun- 
ding by CPB. Will be aired on "Matters of Life & 
Death," Fall '83. 27 min., 16mm, color. Contact: 
Limelight Prod., 11 West 18 St., NY NY 10011, 
(212)581-4895. 



Opportunities • Gigs 

NEGATIVE MATCHING: A & B rolls cut, scenes 
pulled for opticals etc., color & b/w reversal, 
negative stocks. Reliable service, reasonable rates. 
Call: (212)786-6278, NY. 

• COMING OUT WEST? NY indies planning to 
shoot in No. California or Bay Area can save time 
& money by contacting Karil Daniels,to coordinate 
most effective, least expensive shoot possible. Ten 
years' experience w/ San Francisco independent 
film/video community. Contacts to quality 
freelance crew members, locations, equipment, ser- 
vices & supplies at best rates. Contact: Point of 
View Prods., 2477 Folsom St., SF CA 941 10, (415) 
821-0435. 

• CINEMATOGRAPHER available w/16SR, fast 
lenses & lights. Fluent in Spanish, French. 
Negotiable rates. Contact: Pedro Bonilla, (212) 
662-1913, NY. 

mCINEMATOGRAPHER available for fiction, 
documentary. Fully equipped including Aaton 7 
LTR, Cooke 10.4-52, 16mm or S-16, Super Speed 
L. Tl. 3. Reasonable rates. Contact: Igor Sunara, 
(212)249-0416, NY. 

• COMPOSER wants to work w/ indie film/video 
artists. Electronic & other songs, scores, themes, 
sounds & effects composed, performed & recorded 
by Bruce Haack. Rewarding collaboration more 
important than money. Sample cassettes available 
at AIVF office. Contact: Prof. Praxiteles Pandel, 
c/o School of Music, West Chester State College, 
West Chester PA 19380, (215) 436-2976; summer: 
(215)692-5531. 

• FORMER DANCER w/ own video equipment 
wishes to collaborate w/ dancer or anthropologist 
on short doc or visual enhancement of research 
already in progress. Contact: Penny Ward, (212) 
228-1427, NY. 

• NEEDED: Reliable, able switchers, cameraper- 
sons, PAs to work on new cable series. Volunteer at 
first, but hope to pay later. Contact: Akram Zadeh, 
(212) 779-6448 early am or late pm, NY. 

• RESEARCH: Full- or part-time volunteers need- 
ed in several cities to assist w/ research for gay his- 
torical documentary, Before Stonewall. Good ed- 
ucational opportunity; must be well-organized & 
responsible. Contact: Andrea Weiss, Before 
Stonewall Film Project, (212) 582-4425, NY. 

• ENGLISH COMPOSER w/ experience in video 
sound track & recording. Dependable & able to 
meet deadlines. Contact: David Hakes, (201) 
435-7972, pm, NJ. 

• MIDTOWN FACILITY seeks co-producers for 
film & multi-media, children's programs, 
cabaret/revues, theatre, dance, exhibits, fashion 
shows, music etc. Flexible arrangements. Contact: 
Eventcenter, (212) 989-9026, 10 am-5 pm, NY. 

JUNE 9 1983 



• COMPOSER SEEKS FILM TO SCORE: 1 6mm 
original film for scoring & musical production to 
complete last baccalaureate requirement for major 
in Film Music Composition. Composition, musi- 
cians, studio time including sound editing on flat- 
bed Moviola provided at no charge. Duration of 
music dependent on needs of film. Project overseen 
by Prof. Michael Rendish, Dept. of Film Music, 
Berklee College of Music, Boston. Contact: John 
Taylor Kent, (617) 288-6387, 7-9 pm; 376-8844, Fri. 
pm-Tues. am, MA. 

mMOTION PICTURES INTERNATIONAL, 
producers of American Taboo, currently seeking 
properties for low-budget production during up- 
coming year. Any interested person may submit 
scripts, treatments or outlines. Contact: Steve 
Lustgarten, MPI, 925 NW 19 St., Portland OR 
97209. 

• CREW CALL: Narrative feature shooting late 
July & August. Crew members must live near or be 
willing to commute to locations in Parsippany-Troy 
Hills NJ. Contact: Darryl Mitteldorf, 125 Second 
Ave., NY NY 10003, (212) 673-6755. 

• CAMERAMAN w/ equipment, reel & crew 



available. Very negotiable rates. Contact: BIF, 
(212)673-4543, NY. 

• EAGLE BROADCASTING, satellite distribu- 
tion arm of Calco Enterprises, a full-service pro- 
duction & marketing concern in Denver, will begin 
regular broadcasting via WESTAR-5 & COM- 
STAR D-4 in early July, 1983, aiming for regular 
6-hr broadcast day. Although primarily distribu- 
tion agent for Calco productions, Eagle is also in- 
terested in independent producers w/ completed 
educational & informational projects. Programm- 
ing will include Vi to 1-hr. length, traditional- 
format entertainment & docudrama presenting 
issues in a manner other than "just talking heads." 
Currently putting together series on environmental 
awareness. Contact: Peter Kaplan, Director of Pro- 
gram Development, Calco Enterprises, 1601 16 St., 
Denver CO 80202, (303) 837-0872. 

• POSITION AVAILABLE: Director, Utah 
Media Center. Overall management, development 
& program responsibility for 4-yeir-old media arts 
center implementing programs in film/video ex- 
hibition, education, distribution & equipment ac- 
cess. Salary range: $19-20,000. Application 
deadline: June 10, 1983. For more info contact: 



AIVF MEMBERSHIP MINUTES 



AIVF held its annual membershp 
meeting on March 30, 1983. The meeting 
opened with welcoming remarks by Board 
chair Lillian Jimenez. Jimenez noted that 
despite difficult times, independents have 
continued through 1982 to produce and to 
win awards. AIVF president Robert 
Richter then presented an overview of the 
Board's development over the year, prin- 
cipally the formation of standing commit- 
tees to carry out policy in conjunction with 
staff. Richter was less optimistic than 
Jimenez, commenting at length on the de- 
cline of public funding for independent 
production. 



The keynote address was given by 
Richard Goldstein, a senior editor at New 
York's Village Voice and writer of a col- 
umn on the politics of culture. Goldstein 
urged, with humor and good sense, that 
artists from all disciplines form a broad co- 
alition to make fundamental changes in 
arts funding policy. Goldstein drew on the 
civil rights and women's movements as 
models. Lawrence Sapadin, AIVF execu- 
tive director, echoed Goldstein's theme, 
stating that the single greatest failing of the 
independent movement and of AIVF has 
been failure to develop an audience pas- 
sionately committed to the survival of in- 
dependent media. Sapadin urged in- 
dependents to seek support from existing 
social issue constituencies such as the en- 
vironmental and anti-nuclear movements. 

AIVF staff summarized the year's 
accomplishments and developments in 
each of AIVF and FIVFs programs: The 



Independent, Seminars & Screenings, the 
Festival Bureau and information clear- 
inghouse. Assistant director Wendy Li- 
dell reviewed the fiscal state of the 
organization; membership coordinator 
Fran Piatt reported on the dramatic in- 
crease in membership through 1982. The 
rest of the meeting was devoted to open 
discussion and nominations for new Board 
members. 

The principal message from the mem- 
bers in attendance was that AIVF must 
develop a more effective long-range stra- 
tegic approach to its advocacy. There ap- 
peared to be general approval of the 
Board's endorsement of a local Jobs with 
Peace resolution and of a resolution not to 
work with the United States Information 
Agency. With respect to public TV, 
however, a majority of those in attendance 
urged more aggressive tactics, ranging 
from "direct action" to a lawsuit against 
CPB, in addition to the legislative lobby- 
ing in which AIVF is already engaged. 
After considerable discussion, the matter 
was referred to the Board's Advocacy 
Committee. Board and staff urged all in- 
terested members to get involved. Another 
major point addressed was the continuing 
need to make AIVF more responsive to the 
minority producer community. 

The following members were 
nominated: Pablo Figueroa, Howard 
Petrick, Edin Velez, Barton Weiss, Dara 
Birnbaum, Ann Gorfunkel, Steven Tat- 
sukawa, Loni Ding, Joan Shigekawa, 
Peter Kinoy, Jackie Shearer, Richard 
Schmiechen, Yuet-Fung Ho, Bruce 
Jenkins, Pearl Bowser, Dan Edelman, 
Michele Parkerson and Kathy Kline . ■ 



29 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Utah Media Center, 20 SW Temple, Salt Lake City 
UT 84101; (801)328-4201. 

• THE KITCHEN seeks new full-time video direc- 
tor. Send letters & resumes to Mary MacArthur, 
The Kitchen, 59 Wooster St., NY NY 10012. 



Publications 

• HIGH TECH BLACK BOOKS: Illustrated 
equipment encyclopedias. Six volumes of fully il- 
lustrated catalogs for audio, AV, broadcast, com- 
puter, video, security & CCTV equipment. Com- 
plete product & source info, fully referenced. 
S60-S95 per book from: Bill Daniels Co., Inc., 
12113 Johnson Dr., PO Box 2506, Shawnee Mis- 
sion KS 66201, 1 (800) 255-6038, (913) 631-5707. 

• THE VIDEO REGISTER 1982-83: Comprehen- 
sive directory of professional video industry. New 
sections list trade associations, shows, meetings, 
seminars & publications, expanded production sec- 
tion & many additional listings. Publisher 
/Distributor & User sections incl. Updated each 
year. Comprehensive general index. $47.50 from: 
Knowledge Industry Publications, 701 Westchester 
Ave., White Plains NY 10604, (914) 328-9157. 

• INDEPENDENT TEA TURE FILM PRODUC- 
TION by Gregory Goodell. Complete guide from 
concept to distribution. Sections on legal structur- 
ing & financing, pre-production package, produc- 
tion, post-production & distribution processes. Il- 
lustrated w/ charts, sample budgets, schedules, 
reports. Nuts & bolts textbook coverage of large, 
unwieldy animal of indie film production. Appen- 
dices & index. $17.95 zX AIVF ox by mail from: St. 
Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave, NY NY 10010. 

• DANCE ON VIDEO, catalog of "Dance on the 
Lower East Side: New Definitions" show presented 
April 9-10, 1983. For info send SASE good for 2 oz. 
to: Julie Harrison, 168 Mercer St., NY NY 10012. 

• HERESIES: Feminist publication on art & 
politics. 16th issue on film, video & media, due out 
July, includes feminist analyses on current media 
trends, past/present works, film scripts, graphics, 
more. $5 from: Heresies, PO Box 766, Canal St. 
Sta.,NYNY 10013. 



Seminars • Conferences 

• TAHOE FILM /VIDEO WORKSHOPS 1983: 
Professional workshops in Nevada City CA. Sum- 
mer session: "Video Production" w/ instructors 
George Dibie, John Freschi, June 5-11; "Video 
Editing" w/ Art Schneider ACE, Bernie Laramie, 
June 12-18; "Film Directing" w/ Robert Wise, 
Sidney Pollack, July 10-16; "Cinematography: 
Script to Screen" w/ Owen Roziman ASC, Caleb 
Deschanel, July 10-16; "Acting for Camera I" w/ 
Barry Primus, July 17-23; "Cinematography & 
Lighting II" w/ Vilmos Zsigmond ASC, Gordon 
Willis ASC & Sven Nykvist ASC. All workshops 
$650. Contact: The Hilltop, PO Box 3060, Truckee 
CA 95734, (916) 587-4500. 

• NORTH AMERICAN TV INSTITUTE: Inten- 
sive full-day workshops designed to strengthen & 
hone professional skills in editing, directing, scrip- 
ting, lighting/sound, computer animation, 
technical troubleshooting, management & produc- 
tion techniques. July 5-8, Chicago Marriott O'Hare 
Hotel; Aug. 2-5, Amfac Hotel & Resort, Dallas. 
Contact: Ellen Parker, Knowledge Industry 

30 



Publications, 701 Westchester Ave., NY NY 10604, 
1 (800) 431-1800; in NY call (914) 328-9157. 

• NEW ENGLAND ARTIST FESTIVAL spon- 
sored by Artists Extension Svc. on Univ. of Mass. 
at Amherst campus. 7th year of region's largest 
multi-arts event, including over 400 artists in visual 
arts, craft, performance, literary arts & indepen- 
dent film. Sat. June 4, 1 1 am-7 pm; Sun. June 5, 1 1 
am-6 pm; rain or shine. Adults $4, children $.75, 
students & sr. citizens $2. Contact: AES, (413) 
545-2360. 

• NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF MEDIA ARTS 
CENTERS 1983 Conference, June 8-11, Min- 
neapolis MN. Will examine some goals of indepen- 
dent media during last 20 years, present ac- 
complishments & what needs to be done. Contact: 
Ron Green, NAMAC Chair, Ohio State University, 
Columbus OH 43210, (614) 422-1095. 




Max Almy's new tape: Leaving the 20th Century. 

Trims • Glitches 

• ALABAMA FILM-MAKERS CO-OP CUTS 
BACK: Citing small size of independent communi- 
ty in Huntsville & growing deficit, "the Co-op is 
returning to its original form." according to Co-op 
newsletter, Reelways: it will once again be a 
"volunteer-run community-based organization, its 
goals & objects coming directly from the communi- 
ty." Due to drastic cost cutbacks, Reelways will no 
longer be printed, staff & programing will be cut, 
the Co-op will move from its current facility & 
perhaps most significantly, the Co-op will no 
longer be an access center & is selling off equipment 
to pay bills. The Co-op will continue to maintain 
exhibition series & instructional programs. "The 
plan is to fall back & regroup" to find the Co-op 
Hunstville wants & form a strong community base. 

• EMMY CONFESSES "I LOVE INDIES": 
AIVF extends heartiest congratulations to indepen- 
dent video/filmmakers who made an impressive 
showing at 1982 National Academy of Television 
Arts & Sciences (EMMY) Awards. Skip Blumberg 
won Outstanding Sports Programming award and 
scored individual prizes as editor & cameraperson 
of Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show. 
Jeffrey Kleinman & Cara DeVito won film editing 
award for What Could You Do with a Nickel? in 
Outstanding Documentary category. Roberta Can- 
tow & Dan Reeves won producers' awards for 
Clotheslines & Smothering Dreams respectively in 
Outstanding Entertainment category, & Reeves 
also won editing & electronic camera awards for 
Smothering Dreams. All winning indie productions 
were aired on WNET/13, NY. Good work!! 

• MIRRA BANK, independent filmmaker, was 
honored by her alma mater, Smith College, Feb. 2, 
1983 when she was presented w/ the Smith Medal. 
Ms. Bank, also a distinguished editor, has pro- 



duced numerous films, including Anonymous Was 
a Woman & Enormous Changes at the Last Minute 
(w/ Ellen Hovde). She is currently working on an 
account of the real careers of "three wild women of 
the American West" entitled Reckless Hearts. 

• CPB PROGRAM FUND has budgeted a total of 
$830,000 for 11 projects in the Unsolicited Pro- 
posal category. Nine proposals are from indies, 5 
from minority producers. And the winners are: 
Jose Luis Ruiz & Jesus Trevino (LA), Neighbors; 
Skylight Pictures Inc. (NY), Guatemala; Roy Cam- 
panella Jr. (Beverly Hills), Passion and Memory; 
Steven Schecter/KOCE-TV (CA), The Homefront; 
Debra Robinson (NY), Black Comediennes; Afro- 
American Art Institute (DC), The Art of the 
Harlem Renaissance: School of Social Realism; 
Past America/Shep Morgan (Miami), Moments 
without Proper Names; Frederick Wiseman 
(Boston), Department Store; Blaine Baggett (VA), 
Space Flight; WGBH-Boston, Vietnam: A Televi- 
sion History; & Jerry Colbert/WVIA-TV (PA) US 
Supreme Court Project. 

• INDIES GO TO HOLLYWOOD: Congratula- 
tions to John Zaritsky, Just Another Missing Kid & 
Terri Nash & National Film Board of Canada, If 
You Love This Planet on their Academy Awards 
for outstanding documentaries; & to nominees John 
Karol, Ben's Mill, Robert Richter, Gods of Metal, 
& Meg Switzgable, In Our Water. 

• LIFE & DEATH & OTHER MATTERS funds 
AIVF members in final round of series. Projects 
chosen for CPB support include Amoskeag, 
Margot Lewitin/Women's Interart Center (NY); 
Our Sacred Land, Chris Spotted Eagle (MN); On 
The Boulevard, St. Clair Bourne (NY); Taylor 
Chain, Jerry Blumenthal & Gordon 
Quinn/Kartemquin Films Ltd. (Chicago); & Where 
Did You Get That Woman?, Loretta Smith & Lin- 
da Horwitz (Chicago). Congratulations! 

• AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Congratula- 
tions to winners of Video Shorts III, third national 
festival of short video works sponsored by High 
Hopes Media, Seattle WA; Leaving the 20th Cen- 
tury, Max Almy (SF); Cape May: End of the 
Season, Maxi Cohen (NY); Lisa Lyon: Portrait of 
Power, John Hunt (LA); Industrial Design Project, 
Alec Friedman (Ann Arbor); Duality /Duplicity, 
Janice Tanaka (Chicago); Future Primitive, Nor- 
man Levy (SF); Father Groppi: A Five-Minute 
Autobiography, John Aleckson (Madison); 
Dedicated to Lee Choon-Sop, Laurie McDonald 
(Houston); Somersault, Steina Vasulka (Santa Fe); 
Mi General, Ric Sternberg (Austin). Contact: HH, 
932 12th Ave., Seattle WA 91822, (206) 322-9010. 

• FILMMAKERS interested in being part of of- 
ficial delegation of American independents to tour 
& exhibit work in People's Republic of China, 
Sept. '83, contact: Christine Wynne, 242 Cole St., 
SF CA 94117, (415) 668-0739; or Michael Lipson, 
Sino-American Council, 969 Acalanes Rd., 
Lafayette CA 94549, (415)283-6739. 

• WHOOPS! A few mistakes cropped up in the 
Chris Spotted Eagle interview (April Independent): 

1. Chris Spotted Eagle ran the photography 
department at Benton & Bowles Ad, not the 
production department; 

2. he was born a Houma below the New Orleans 
area, not a Choctaw; 

3. it's the Lac Courte Oreilles who have 
established a radio station at the Pine Ridge 
Reservation in Wisconsin, not the 
"Couderay." 

Sorry, Chris — Ed. ■ 

JUNE •1983 




TH€ PRODUCERS 

MASTCRGUIDC. 

4983 

The International Production 
Manual for Motion Pictures, 
Television, Commercial, Cable 
& Videotape Industries in the 
United States and Canada (formerly 
New York Production Manual) 

In the new edition: 
Wider geographic and industry coverage! 
Unions' and Guilds' most recent contracts, wage 
scales and working conditions! 
25,000 current names/numbers/addresses of 
industry professionals and services divided into 150 
product/service categories including prop suppliers 
cameramen, talent agencies, producers, etc. 
In your office or on location, The Producer's Master- 
Guide 1983 is the best single tool for buying or 
renting equipment, hiring a crew, dealing with 
unions, planning a shooting schedule, and comput- 
ing payrolls. Everything you need to know to get 
your project on its feet is here: 

Production logistics— the legal who, what, 
when, where, and how of filming in New York 
City, Florida, Canada, and the entire 
eastern U.S. 

Expanded Canadian industry 
coverage and data. 
• Special sections devoted to 
commercials, videotape and 
music productions: AICP, AICE, 
VPA and SAMPAC. 
• All rules and regulations for the 
Oscar, Golden Palm, Emmy, and 
Clio Awards. 
• New coverage of Florida film production 
centers, Canadian unions, and the cable and 
satellite broadcasting industries. 

Endorsed by top city, state and government 
officials, the unions, the trade press, and leaders of 
the motion picture industry in the U.S. and Canada. 

Pick up a copy of The Producer's MasterGuide 1983 

in your local bookstore or call our TOLL-FREE 
number to place your order! 

Published by New York Production Manual, Inc. and distributed 
worldwide by R.R. Bowker Company. ISBN: 0-935744-02-9. 
ISSN: 0732-6653. LC79-644582. October 1982. over 600 pp. 
$58.00 paper. 

Prices are applicable in the U.S. and Canada; 10% higher in 
other Western Hemisphere countries. All invoices are payable 
in U.S. dollars. Applicable sales tax must be included. Shipping 
and handling will be added. 

R.R. BOWKER COMPANY 

Order Dept., P.O. Box 1807, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106 



For fast order and delivery call our toll-free number 
1-800-521-8110 and use your credit card. In New York 
call 212-764-5146. 




YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 

Member AICP 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (2 1 2) 244-8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 

(213)858-1848 



Affinity 



The Source for 
American Independent Cinema 

Representing, in World Markets, films 
by: 

THE ARCHIVES PROJECT 

BETH B & SCOn B / BRIGITTE BERMAN 

JUDY IRVING & CHRIS BEAVER 

BARBARA KOPPLE 

HILARY MADDUX & DEBORAH BOLDT 

ERIC MITCHELL / DAVID BURTON MORRIS 

VICTOR NUNEZ / ANITRA PIVNICK 

GODFREY REGGIO / JOHN SAYLES 

SUSAN SEIDELMAN AND OTHERS 



Feminist independent Video: 

The Three R's — Roles, 
Relationships and Eroticism 

Time: 7:30 pm 

Date: Thursday, June 9 

Place: Millennium Film Workshop 

66 E. 4th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Ave.) 

Panel discussion with Jill Kroesen 
Robin Schanzenback, Julia Heyward, 
Ardele Lister, Earl Ripling, Anne-Sargent 
Wooster, Anne Tardos, Joan Jonas, San- 
born/Fitzgerald, Judith Barry, Dean Kep- 
pel, Laura Hayes, Joan Jubela, and Lyn 
Blumenthal. 



Beyond the Bicycle: 

Videotape Distribution 
For Non-Broadcast Markets 

Date: Thursday, June 2 

Place: Millennium Film Workshop 

Time: 7:30 pm 

A panel discussion on the State-of-the- 
Art with Gregory Miller (The Kitchen), 
Dara Birnbaum (Video Artist), Lyn 
Blumenthal (Video Data Bank) and Lori 
Zippay (Electronic Arts Intermix) 
Admission is S3/AIVF members and 
$5/Non-members. No reservations. 
For more information FIVF: (212) 473-3400. 



FIVF 

625 Broadway, 9th floor 

New York NY 10012 



NON-PROFIT ORG. 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 
New York. N.Y. 
Permit No: 7089 



For more information on our 

marketing services for independent 

filmmakers please call or write: 

JOY PERETHS 

JONATHAN OLSBERG 

330 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 

10036 

212 239 8662 



MOVING? LET US KNOW. . . 

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process 
an address change, and we don 't 
want you to miss a single issue. 



THE FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY JULY/AUGUST 1983 



$150 



INDEPENDENT 





These films were shot 
in 16mm and Super 
16mm* and released 
theatrically in 35mm. 

1982-1983 

Angelo My Love 

by Robert Duvall 

Atomic Cafe 

by Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty 

Chan Is Missing 

by Wayne Wang 

Dark Circle 

by Judy Irving and Chris Beaver 

Lianna 

by John Sayles 

Personals 

by Peter Markle 

Say Amen Somebody 

by George Nierenberg 

Smithereens 

by Susan Seidelman 

*The Ballad Of Gregorio Cortez 

by Robert Young 

The Weavers 

by Jim Brown 

*Welcome Back To The Five And Dime 

by Robert Altman 




IR ART 

FILM LABORATORIES, INC. 



^ 



245 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 
(212) 757-4580 



39 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02160 
(617) 969-0666 



THE INDEPENDENT 



THE 

INDEPENDENT 

JULY/AUGUST 1983m VOL. 6, No. 6 

Publisher: Lawrence Sapadin 

Editor: Kathleen Huiser 

Assistant Editor: Frances M. Piatt 

Contributing Editors: Bob Brodsky, 

Mary Guzzy, David Leitner, Wendy 

Lidell, Susan Linfield, Toni Tread way 

Contributors: Sheila Abadi, Pearl 

Bowser, Denise Brassard, Yvonne 

Buchanan, Doudou Diene, David 

Ehrlich, John Greyson, Dee Dee 

Halleck, Lillian Jimenez, Pat Keeton, 

David Keller, Denise Oliver, Melody 

Pariser, Richie Perez, Ed Simmons, 

Robert Stam, Pat Visconti, Janet Henry 

Art Director: Deborah Payne 

Advertising: Barbara Spence 

Staff Photographer: Sol Rubin 

Distributor: DeBoer 

Typesetting: Skeezo 

Printer: Petcap 

• 

The Independent is published 10 times yearly by t lie 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, lne. 
(FIVF). 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 
10012, a non-profit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of independent video 
and film, and by the Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF). the national trade 
association of independent producers and individuals 
involved in independent video and film. Subscription is 
included with membership in AIVF. Together, FIVF 
and AlVF provide a broad range of education and pro- 
fessional services for independents and the general 
public. Publication of The Independent is made pos;i- 
ble in part with public funds from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for 
the Arts, a Federal agency. 

Articles in The Independent are contributed by our 
members and supporters. If you have an idea for, or 
wish to contribute, an article to The Independent, con- 
tact the Editor at the above address. 

AH contents are copyright of the authors and The In- 
dependent, except where otherwise noted, and reprints 
require written permission from both. ISSN 
0731-5198. 

<MrWF1983 



AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Lawrence Sapadin, Ex : 
ecutive Director; Wendy Lidell, Assistant Director; Isaac 
Jackson Media Coordinator; Sol Horwitz. Short Film 
Showcase Project Administrator; Susan Linfield, Short Film 
Showcase Administrative Assistant; Frances M. Piatt, Member- 
ship Coordinator: Mary 'Guzzy, Administrative Assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Robert Richter, 
President; William Greaves, Vice President; Lillian Jimenez, 
Chair; Kathy Kline, Secretary; Malt Clarke, Treasurer; 
Lawrence Sapadin (ex-officio); Daniel Edelman; Pablo 
Figueroa; Kitty Morgan; Jane Morrison; Denise Oliver; 
Richard Sehmieehen; Thomas Turley. 

A Publication of 

The Foundation for 

Independent Video & Film 

a 

The Association of 

Independent Video & 

Filmmakers 



CONTENTS 



Features 



Introduction to "Color in the Consciousness Industry" 

Special Section on Racism in Media & International Access to Communications 

Neutral Knowledge about "Birth of a Nation" 

Teaching Film as Art at NYU Is Questioned* Ed Simmons & Pat Keeton 

Seventy Years of Black Filmmaking 

Hidden History Traced from Lincoln Pictures to Micheaux • Pearl Bowser 

Storming Fort Apache 

A Study of a Community's Protest against Notorious Paul Newman Film • Richie Perez 

Coming Up Slowly 

New Voices, New Strategies Help Build Grassroots Black Audiences • Denise Oliver 

Developing Latino Alternatives 

Perspectives on Problems & Strengths of New Hispanic Media • Lillian Jimenez 

Veiled Videos Shooting in the Sahara 

Algerian Producer Speaks about Her Media Work on the Polisario • Kathleen Huiser 

Third World Cinema Conference in NY 

International Crowd Discusses Cinema Praxis & Politics • Susan Linfield 

New World Information Order 

UNESCO Head Appeals for Genuine Media Pluralism; Plus: Brazilian Examples of 1-Way Info 
Flow • Doudou Diene & Robert Stam 

The Progressive Bookshelf 

Bibliography of Books & Articles on Racism & Democratic Communications • Pat Keeton 

Columns 



Media Clips • We w Battle Formation on Cable Bill 

Also: Chicago Media Network Founded; Video Art Cablecast in Long Beach • Lawrence 
Sapadin, Wendy Lidell & Sheila Abadi 

In Focus • Technical Grab-bag 

Of Synch-Sound Doctors & "Peace of Mind" Meters • David Leitner 

Festivals • Chicago, Cinanima & Hawaii 

NY Gay, Also: Asian-American Video; Tyneside 

• Wendy Lidell, John Greyson, David Ehrlich & Melody Pariser 

Notices 

Edited by Marry Guzzy & Pat Visconti 



11 
12 
13 
15 
16 
19 
20 
21 
24 

29 



4 

6 

9 
30 

33 



Cover illustration by Yvonne Buchanan. See special section on Color in the Consciousness Industry. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



Prudence Advocated 

Dear Independent, 

The purpose of the February 15 AIVF 
seminar on using stock footage was to clear up 
a lot of confusion surrounding this subject, not 
to add to it, as does Arlene Zeichner's report 
("Taking Stock," The Independent, May 
1983). I did not, nor would I ever, advise a 
filmmaker to "just go ahead and let the 
copyright owner sue you and settle out of 
court," regardless of how big the film's budget 
is. Furthermore, The Compleat Beatles has not 



JULY/AUGUST • 1983 



been the subject of any lawsuits for copyright 
infringement, as the article implies. My sugges- 
tion to all archival film users to make a "good- 
faith effort" to protect themselves from 
copyright violations included, in every case, 
seeking the advice of an experienced copyright 
lawyer. Patrick Montgomery 

More letters on page 8 

The Independent welcomes letters to the 
editors. Send them to FIVF, 625 Broadway, 
New York NY 10012. Letters may be edited 
for length and clarity. 

3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



PRINCIPLES & RESOLUTIONS 
OF THE ASSOCIATION 



A I VF FOUNDING PRINCIPLES 



1. The Association is a trade association of 
and for independent video and filmmakers. 

2. The Association encourages excel- 
lence, commitment and independence; it 
stands for the principle that video and 
filmmaking is more than just a job — it 
goes beyond economics to involve the ex- 
pression of broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through the 
combined efforts of its membership, to 
provide practical, informational and 
moral support for independent video and 
filmmakers and is dedicated to ensuring 
the survival and providing support for 
the continuing growth of independent 
video and filmmaking. 

4. The Association does not limit its sup- 
port to one genre, ideology or aesthetic, 
but furthers diversity of vision in artistic 
and social consciousness. 

5. The Association champions indepen- 
dent video and film as valuable and vital 
expressions of our culture and is deter- 
mined, by mutual action, to open path- 
ways toward exhibition of this work to 
the community at large. 



A I VF RESOL UTIONS 

1. To affirm the creative use of media in 
fostering cooperation, community & 
justice in human relationships without 
respect to age, sex, race, class or religion. 

2. To recognize and reaffirm the 
freedom of expression of the indepen- 
dent film and videomaker, as spelled out 
in the AIVF principles. 

3. To promote constructive dialogue and 
heightened awareness among the mem- 
bership of the social, artistic and per- 
sonal choices involved in the pursuit of 
both independent and sponsored work, 
via such mechanisms as screenings and 
forums. 

5. To continue to work to strengthen 
AIVF's services to independents, in 
order to help reduce the membership's 
dependence on the kinds of sponsorship 
which encourage the compromise of per- 
sonal values. 



MEDIA CLIPS 



Shifting Battle Lines in 
Federal Cable Bill Fight 

LAWRENCE SAPADIN 



Once again, Congress is trying to come to 
grips with cable legislation: a third-time- 
around, industry-oriented bill aimed at trans- 
ferring control of the cable industry from 
America's cities and states to the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC). The 
Senate bill, S.66 (sponsored by Communica- 
tions Subcommittee Chair Barry Goldwater), 
recently cleared the Senate Commerce 
Committee and is headed for the Senate floor, 
but has become entangled in a thicket of op- 
position. 

When it was introduced in January 1983, 
S.66 was greeted by a storm of protest from 
local governments, the public interest media 
community and independent producers. The 
bill (titled the Cable Telecommunications Act 
of 1983) sought to curtail city and state 
regulatory authority over cable, thus permit- 
ting FCC to limit franchise fees charged by 
cities, prohibiting Cities from setting rates for 
basic service, reducing the number of re- 
quired access channels and eliminating them 
from the definition of basic service. In 
February, AIVF joined a coalition of 
organizations opposing S.66, which included 
the American Library Association, Black 
Citizens for Fair Media, the United Church of 
Christ (Office of Communication), the Na- 
tional Organization for Women and the 
United Steelworkers of America. 

By March, after lengthy closed negotia- 
tions, a compromise was reached between the 
National League of Cities (NLC), one of the 
bill's first and most vociferous opponents, 
and the National Cable Television Associa- 
tion (NCTA) on a revised S.66. The resulting 
new bill got a chilly reception from the public 
interest and access lobby, however, and 
before long a vocal minority of city leaders 



broke ranks with NLC and the compromise. 
While the agreement restored some regulatory 
authority to the cities and states, the bill was 
still heavily weighted in favor of the cable in- 
dustry: Cities would be prohibited from set- 
ting rates for basic service in any market with 
four or more broadcast TV stations; cable 
companies would enjoy a "presumption" in 
favor of franchise renewal, making it harder 
for cities to enforce the franchise by threaten- 
ing to find a better cable company; access 
channels — while not prohibited — would not 
be required either, leaving the existence of 
public access to the negotiation process from 
city to city. Worst of all, the new bill would 
supersede and therefore nullify many existing 
franchise agreements. 

Although S.66 was passed by the Senate 
Commerce Committee in late April, the NLC 
dissidents and public interest media com- 
munity have recently been joined by an 
unlikely ally in their efforts to block the cable 
bill: American Telephone & Telegraph. Bell's 
post-divestiture operating companies are 
complaining that S.66 would permit cable 
companies to provide "common carrier" ser- 
vices — such as data and voice transmis- 
sion — now handled by the phone companies, 
without the state and federal regulations 
under which AT&T and the local phone com- 
panies must operate. An amendment pro- 
viding for gradual deregulation of local phone 
companies has not placated AT&T and its 
brood of Baby Bells. AT&T, along with the 
other opponents of S.66, is said to be making 
headway in gaining congressional support. 

For independents, the local v. federal 
power struggle over cable is a red herring. We 
should be fighting for both strong federal 
policies that promote diversity in cable owner- 









r*\ 


y^X 


^ 












Hi 


^Mt/^ 








\2^> 














/A*/ 


^^^3^3^ 


^i 


$gm*. 








^C^C 40^ 
















ftfejj^, 









JULY/AUGUST* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



ship and programming and that guarantee ac- 
cess, supplemented by accountable local 
authority to negotiate with cable companies 
beyond the federal minimums according to 
particular local needs and circumstances. In 
this more positive vein, the National Federa- 
tion of Local Cable Programmers (NFLCP) 
and the Telecommunications Research and 
Action Center (TRAC) co-sponsored a Media 
Access Showcase on Capitol Hill in early May 
to demonstrate the richness and variety of 
public access programming now shown on the 
nation's cable systems. The UCC's Com- 
munications Office, Public Interest Video 
Network, Pacifica Foundation and AIVF . 
were among the many media organizations 
participating in the Showcase. 

At a press conference kicking off the 
Showcase, House Telecommunications Sub- 
committee Chair Timothy Wirth (D-CO) said 
that insuring diversity would be one of the 
cornerstones of House cable legislation. Later 
in the day, Edward J. Markey (D-MA) added 
that any federal legislation must keep in mind 
the needs of access users. To comment on the 
pending cable legislation, which will be wen- 
ding its way through the Senate floor and the 
House over the summer, write or phone 
Representative Wirth's office, as well as your 
local Senators and Congresspeople. ■ 

Chicago Media Group 
Off to Flying Start 

They're organizing in Chicago. Brainchild 
of local media centers such as Chicago Film- 
makers and the Center for New Television, in 
cooperation with the Chicago Council on Fine 
Arts, the fledgling Chicago Area Film and 
Video Network is off to a flying start. No fewer 
than 370 people attended the Network's foun- 
ding conference on April 2, where experts 
spoke on such core survival issues as funding, 
distribution, equipment access and selling to 
network and cable TV. 

Film and videomakers filled out question- 
naires regarding their interests and abilities, 
and by the end of the day-long conference, five 
task forces were created focusing on the same 
five broad issues. An interim slate of officers 
was also elected by day's end, composed of 
Howard Gladstone (independent producer), 
president; John Hoffman (executive director 
of Chicago Filmmakers), treasurer; and 
Ramona Curry (Goethe House Film Depart- 
ment), secretary. 

According to Alan Leder, conference 
organizer and member of the Network's Ex- 
ecutive Committee, all task forces have been 
holding meetings which have attracted as many 
as 35 people, and over 20 subcommittees have 
been formed to work on tasks ranging from the 
encouragement of local exhibitors (including 
the Chicago International Film Festival) to 
show more independent work to the organiza- 
tion of professional seminars. One group will 
concentrate on strengthening relationships 
with local TV stations, especially the local 
public TV stations, and another on developing 
JULY/AUGUST • 1983 



a cooperative to obtain discounts and 
favorable credit terms from local labs and 
equipment houses. 

The major hurdle facing the group now is 
whether to incorporate or remain the ad hoc 
network of existing organizations that was so 
effective in getting the whole thing started. The 
majority of people I spoke to seem strongly 
biased toward the former, and the executive 
committee is hammering away at an acceptable 
set of by-laws. Energy is high, and it is long 
overdue. We wish them the best of luck. 

For more information, call or write: Alan 
Leder, Film Coordinator, Chicago Council on 
Fine Arts, 78 East Washington St., Chicago IL 
60602; (3 1 2) 744-8944. — Wendy Udell 



Museum/Cable System Deal 
Heartens Video Artists 

The Media Art Center at the Long Beach 
Museum of Art, in Los Angeles County, is 
presently producing video art to be shown on 
the local cable access channel beginning 
September 1. Sometime in 1984, the museum 
will begin programming its own cultural arts 
channel on Dimension Cable Services of Long 
Beach, the local cable system. As a municipal 
entity, the Museum is eligible for a cable chan- 
nel through the local Department of Recrea- 
tion and Human Services. Until then, "Shared 
Reality," the four series of video art that 
should be in full production by July 1 , will be 
aired on public access channels. Four half-hour 
programs are planned for each series. 

Kathy Huffman, curator of the Museum 
and director of its video program, will be pro- 
ducing a series called "Media Arts and Issues." 
Dedicated to the contemporary art scene, it will 
integrate tapes from current museum exhibits 
with talks with curators and critics. Works by 
video artists Antonio Muntadas, Dara Birn- 



baum and the late Peter Ives will be included. 
(Approximately two hours' worth of previous- 
ly shot video will be used in the different pro- 
grams.) The second series, "Exploring 
Dance," will foreground dialogue with all 
types of dancers interspersed with clips of their 
dancing in a program not "just for dancers." 
Video artists Jacki Apple and Patrick Marca 
Registrada will contribute to this series, and 
Yen Lu Wong, Mary Jane Eisenberg and Sara 
Elgart will be dancing. The third show, 
"Culture in Long Beach," will report on cur- 
rent cultural events in Long Beach. The fourth 
series, "The Edge," will be an experimental 
video art program. Artists, video producers 
and musicians will collaborate to develop new 
program formats incorporating such techni- 
ques as digital video effects and computer 
graphics. Video artists to be featured include 
Katherine Kanahiro, Bill Viola and Pierre Mar- 
ton. 

The Museum acquired an editing system in 
the mid-70s. From 1976 to '78, Museum ex- 
hibits were videotaped for showing on cable 
after they closed. In 1979 and 1980, 30- and 
60-second commercials were produced for 
video artists to make personal statements 
about society based on their own feelings. The 
Museum paid for the commercials to be shown 
on network television, said Joseph Leonardi, 
operations manager of the Media Arts Center 
and project coordinator for the cable cultural 
arts program. 

According to James Ramo, president of 
Dimension Cable, by July, two-thirds of Long 
Beach will have 56 channels of programming, 
though subscribers could receive 100 channels 
if the programming were available. After the 
first half of 1984, the third of the city that 
already has cable will be rewired and will also 
be receiving 56 channels with the capacity for 
100. Ramo states that at the present time 
Dimension Cable has 25,000 subscribers, and 



SUMMARY OF AIVF MINUTES 



The AIVF and FIVF Boards of Direc- 
tors met on May 2, 1983. A summary of 
the minutes follows. Full minutes are 
available on request. 



COMMITTEE REPORTS 

• FIVF Development Committee — FIVF 
obtained a $1,500 mini-grant from the 
New York State Council on the Hu- 
manities to further develop a proposal for 
a cable program of independent work. 

• AIVF Advocacy Committee— AIVF 
chair Lillian Jimenez reported on the re- 
cent AFI/CPB conference on independent 
documentaries and public television. 
President Robert Richter reported that the 
committee is developing a position paper 
on independent media and specific stra- 
tegies with respect to PTV, cable and other 



areas. Executive director Larry Sapadin is 
seeking legal advice on CPB's compliance 
with its authorizing legislation. 
mFIVF Executive Committee met with 
Short Film Showcase staff to discuss rq- 
cent NEA procedures for SFS and the 
future of the program within FIVF. 

NEW BUSINESS 

1. Board Insurance — AIVF/FIVF counsel 
Robert Freedman presented the pros and 
cons of Board insurance. 

2. Board/Staff Retreat— Set for June 14 
to discuss trends in the field and program- 
matic priorities for AIVF and FIVF. 

3. In a farewell statement, Kathy Kline, a 
Board member for more than 5 years, 
complimented AIVF on its growth in re- 
cent years, but cautioned against a 
dogmatic "us/them" approach to PTV. ■ 



THE INDEPENDENT 



CARRYING CASE 

custom made for 
all cameras, lenses, 
magazines, recorders 



•• 



dB designs 

(212)857-7268 



IN FOCUS 




^WOODSTOCK/NY 

$20/25 

• Sony V05800 • V05850 

• RM440 • CVM & PVM 1900 

• Character Generator 

• Sync Gen • Graph Equal. 

PRODUCTION 

• JVC 1900 KY • Sony V040800 

• Sony & Teac Mies • Lowell 

• Schachtler • Pum 4000 

• Sony TCD5M ©AGFA 

THINK VIDEO, INC, 

(914) 679-6181 



by the end of the year should have approx- 
imately 40,000. 

In 1984, when the cultural arts channel starts 
airing, the Long Beach Museum will program 
two to three hours a day, and Leonardi hopes 
that the quantity of programming will double 
every year. If the museum receives the "Com- 
muni Share" grant they applied for, they will 
be able to pay each artist for their work. 

Leonardi feels that because the technology 
of the medium is so expensive, and because ar- 
tists don't have much experience working 
within a program series, the operational system 
of the cultural arts channel is more important 
than the programming itself. "There's a lot of 
criticism about how cable is not the answer to 
video art. But I see cable as an outlet for video 
artists." — Sheila AbadiMi 



Of Synch-Sound Doctors 
& "Peace of Mind" Meters 



DAVID LEITNER 

That independent features are routinely 
produced on budgets below the production 
costs of a typical 60-second network spot is a 
tribute to the cunning and skill of indie pro- 
ducers. Towards that end, this column will 
periodically present a grab bag of products, 
services, and ideas — some of them practical, 
some just enlightening, and all mindful of the 
low-budget, high-standard producer. I wel- 
come your suggestions for future items and 
replies concerning the following reviews, 
especially those drawn from personal ex- 
perience. Please send them in care of this 
column. — D WL 

A few months ago a hapless New York film- 
maker made the daunting discovery that 
1,600' of irreplaceable 16mm synch-sound 
footage had been exposed at the brisk rate of 
28 frames-per-second. Luckily, good advice 
led him to the mid-Manhattan loft of sound 
recordist extraordinaire Jerry Bruck. 

Bruck moved first to establish the exact 
frame rate by trial-and-error transfer to 
spocketed mag. In lieu of crystal control, the 
camera's 28 fps was governed by a relatively 
imprecise oscillator; in fact, it proved to be 
closer to 29. Next, to preclude a dip in pitch 
when played back at 24 fps, Bruck utilized a 
digital pitch transponder, a/k/a "har- 
monizer," to restore the pitch to its natural 
level. (Harmonizers are typically used to 
shorten radio spots by speeding them up 
without noticeably escalating the pitch of the 
announcer's voice.) By increasing the speed 
of his dubber a whopping 17% to match the 
overcranked camera, he succeeded in trans- 
ferring the sound in-synch and on-pitch, to 
the relieved surprise of the grateful film- 
maker. 

Bruck, whose consuming dedication to 
sound recording finds personal expression in 
a passion for the dynamic challenge of Gus- 
tave Mahler's music — Mahler's turn-of-the- 
century chime clock overlooks Bruck's 
desk — is a walking encyclopedia of audio 
history and know-how. With luck, this in- 
defatigable teacher, raconteur, recordist and 
audio MD can be located at Posthorn record- 
dings, 142 West 26 St., 10th floor, New York 
NY 10001, (212)242-3737. 

PEACE OF MIND 

If the filmmaker with the synch error had 
checked his camera beforehand with a POM, 
he would never have met Jerry Bruck. The 
Peace of Mind crystal speed meter is a small 
grey box with a deceptively simple circular 



display of 8 red diodes. When activated, they 
flash in a 360° sequence, 24 times a second. 
An extremely accurate crystal controls the 
process. The idea is to switch on the circular 
display, then the camera to synch speed. If the 
camera's speed is precise, half of the lights 
will appear blocked in the viewfinder by the 
synchronization of the camera's 1 80 ° shutter. 
If, say, the display shifts one light every 5 
seconds, then the camera is slipping out l/8th 
frame out of every 120, or .1% compared to 
sound. Better yet, the POM will override its 
crystal and accept the output of the Nagra's 
crystal. This permits absolute determination 
of camera/recorder crystal synchrony. 

Why is it necessary to check crystal speed? 
Crystal synch has been with us now for over 
ten years and has steadily progressed in so- 
phistication. But not all crystal-controlled 
motors were born equal. Furthermore, even 
the best crystals are temperature-sensitive and 
can wander. 

The POM performs other tricks as well. It 
can deliver its own crystal frequency to a crip- 
pled camera or record in an emergency. Used 
with an appropriate transformer, it will over- 
ride its crystal to accept line frequency from a 
wall receptacle or portable generator. Since 
HMI lights are pulsed by line frequency, a 
quick check through the viewfinder with the 
camera running will determine the possibility 
of HMI flicker. It can check 25 fps as well as 
24, and can accept or discharge either 50 or 60 
Hz frequencies. 

The aptly named POM is the invention of 
outspoken Courtney Hafela, a retired DP 
(Jazz on a Hot Summer's Day) and charter 
member of NABET and DGA. Hafela's pet 
peeve is the cost of contemporary filmmak- 
ing. "When I started out, I could pick up a 
$200 second-hand Bolex. Good God, now 
things are so bitterly expensive that the little 
people are left out, and I think that's wrong!" 
Hafela's Haflexx Corp. in Peterboro NH, 
(603) 924-7118, makes other nifty devices, as 
well as rebuilding NPR Biala motors with an 
updated 3200 Hz/frame crystal circuitry com- 
patible with Arriflex electronic accessories. 
New Hampshire can be lonely, and Hafela es- 
pecially encourages contact from independent 
filmmakers. 

THE ADAPTABLE WALKMAN 

Similar in size and heft to the POM is the 

WM-D6 Sony crystal synch recorder, alias 

Walkman. George O'Dell of The Film Group, 

Box 9, Wethersfield CT, (203) 527-2972, has 

JULY/AUGUST* 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



modified the Sony with a 60-Hz internal 
crystal and an optional but highly recom- 
mended piggyback adaptor, which attaches to 
the body of the recorder and provides a rugg- 
ed XLR input for the mic and a Tuchel input 
for external pilotone. To preserve bidirec- 
tional recording, one of the stereo tracks in 
each direction is dedicated to recording 
synch, rendering the Walkman mono. The 
WM-D6 cannot self-resolve and has a two- 
head configuration. On the plus side, it 
features Dolby, which when used with top- 
shelf metal tape yields results "a tad quieter" 
than the Nagra SN and "the equivalent of the 
[Sony] TCD-5 [modified by Dakota or Image 
Devices], with the exception of the lack of a 
limiter," according to Mark Abbate, 
technical director of the Boston Film and 
Video Foundation, who has put his Walkman 
through its paces since last October. Abbate 
reports that the out-of-box speed and head 
alignment is excellent, and a thorough head 
cleaning and demagnetization every few 
hours will effectively discourage dropouts 
and high-frequency loss. He recommends 
Maxell UDXL-25 metal tape. Despite its 
limitations, the WM-D6, at one third the cost 
of the TCD-5, is clearly destined for low- 
budget and verite action. 

PIGGYBACK DECK 

Another small-scale, low-cost modified 
consumer product is the Frezzolini On-Cam 
videotape recorder. The Vz " VHS deck retains 
the compact size, 5 Vi -pound weight and basic 
mechanism of the off-the-shelf JVC HRC- 
3U, but both the video and audio circuitry 
have been upgraded to professional stan- 
dards. BNC connectors have been installed 
for ruggedness, and power requirements have 
been tailored to Frezzolini 's 12-volt battery 
for portability. Frezzolini has bracketry to 



piggyback the On-Cam onto any of 24 
popular video cameras to form a poor 
person's "camcorder," although the version I 
first encountered several months ago at ABC 
Sports was used with a shoulder strap. The 
recording format is conventional VHS and 
NTSC, but a miniature 20-minute cassette is 
required. The spec sheet claims a resolution of 
240 lines and 45-db signal-to-noise. Jack Frez- 
zolini, reached at his booth at NAB in Las 
Vegas, defended the performance as equal to 
that of 3 /i " several years ago, while conceding 
that "it's not broadcast quality." For further 
information: Frezzolini Electronics Inc., 7 
Valley St., Hawthorne NJ, (201) 427-1160. 

PICK OF THE RAINBOW 

Peter Couloumbis at Cinelab Corp., 475 
Tenth Ave., New York NY, (212) 244-7400, 
has demonstrated a cheap, simple technique 
for achieving a solarization effect for 16mm 
color reversal. Eschewing costly optical prin- 
ting, Peter obtains his effect by specially 
flashing Gevachrome print stock during 
development. The original reversal is not af- 
fected. When the effect is employed, the 
shadow areas of the image take on a deep, 
saturated color which can be varied in intensi- 
ty and hue through the shot. In a close-up, for 
instance, the dark pupils of the subject's eyes 
could be colored a jealous green or unearthly 
amber. Peter, needless to say, welcomes op- 
portunities to explore the technique. 

In a similar vein, a company in Toronto, 
Mobile Image, (416) 499-4826, has developed 
a fusion of computer graphics and video color 
correction that can paint original black-and- 
white images with naturalistic color. The 
system's designer, Wilson Markle, one of the 
founders of Image Transform, explains that 
anything can be realistically colored, given the 
possible palette of 64 hues. A sample tape that 





THE KNOWLEDGEABLE 

ENTERTAINMENT 

INSURANCE BROKER 

AFFORDABLE INSURANCE FOR 

M0VIES«TV»INDEPENDENTS 

COMMERCIALS* VIDE0«THEATRE 

MULTI- MEDIA«SPECIAL EVENTS 

EQUIPMENT»STUDIOS«LABS«GENERAL LIABILITIES 

NYC PERMITS»SHORTTERM 

RENTALS»UNIQUE PR0GRAMS«ERR0RS & 

OMISSIONS LIABILITIES«NEGATIVE 

FILM//VIDE0TAPE«SH0RT & LONG TERM 

COVERAGES 



CONSULTING 

COMPETITIVE^FAST SERVICE 



n» VIDEO 



13 /4"Post Production] 

Lt\)l LdJ WITH EDITOR 

JVC TAPE HANDLERS •MICROGREN 

HIGH RESOLUTION CHARACTER 

GENERATOR (COLORS, BORDERS, 

ROLL, CRAWL, 16-pp MEMORY)* 

PROC AMP (FADES, COLOR 

CORRECTION) •GRAPHICS CAMERAS 

(KEYER) • LARGE EDITING SUITE • 

VILLAGE LOCATION 



Production 

IKEGAMI 730 

SONY PORTABLE 

LIGHTS, MICS, ETC. 

LOW-COST LOCATION PACKAGE 



UARK 



VIDEO 



212 •533*2056 



JULY I AUGUST 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



I viewed featured a silent Laurel and Hardy 
short colorized as a demonstration for the Hal 
Roach Studio. It resembled nothing so much 
as hand-tinted b/w movie from 75 years ago: 
the coloration lacked proper shading and 
subtlety. To my eyes, this suggests a variety of 
novel color treatments, but Markle counters 
that the Laurel and Hardy demo was relative- 
ly crude and not up to the genuine potential of 
the system. Of late, not surprisingly, he's 
been bombarded by interested parties; even 
That 's Incredible! intends to feature his pro- 
cess in an upcoming segment. Can you im- 
agine The Battleship Potemkin in living col- 
or? 

BORN TO RUMMAGE 

I have a weakness for thrift shops and flea 
markets. Many of my prized possessions have 
their origins in the dusty aisles of impossibly 
cluttered junk stores. Just such an emporium 
featuring only photographic and cinema- 
tographic flotsam exists right in the heart of 
Manhattan. Concord Photo Items, in the 
basement of 134 Fifth Ave., near 20th Street, 
is run by the venerable, cantakerous Cass 
Carr, an ex-jazz double bassist and, I think, 
big band leader. After years of buying 
carloads of government and military surplus 
at auction, Carr has amassed a floor-to- 
ceiling treasure trove of castoff equipment. 
Four-hundred-foot 16mm Mitchell magazines 
are common, and an occasional Filmo, Bolex, 
Mitchell 16mm or Auricon Pro 600 will be 
found. As in any junk shop, most of the 
goods are worth little, but as every rummager 
knows, you never quite know what you'll 
find. 

A related impulse often drives me to forage 
through stacks of film and photo periodicals 
in search of loose ends of information. Years 
ago I watched Jerry Brack's (not the same 
Jerry Bruck previously mentioned; not even 
related!) I.F. Stone's Weekly, a documentary 
profiling Washington DCs most relentless, 
reliable journalist. Barred from the halls of 
the Washington Press Club and disdainful of 
the circus atmosphere of Presidential press 
conferences, "Issey" honed the technique of 
combing the Congressional Record, London 



Times, Le Monde, II Observatore and a host 
of domestic dailies to ferret out snippets of 
detail that completed jigsaw puzzles of gov- 
ernment subterfuge. Issey felt that, in a world 
bursting at the seams with media, leaks were 
inevitable. Such careful scrutiny of hidden 
patterns and incomplete cover-ups led to the 
publication in I.F. Stone's Weekly of the first 
accurate account of the Gulf of Tonkin affair. 

Filmmakers and other victims of film 
school and industry obscurantism can apply 
Stone's lesson to their own world. For in- 
stance, many tend to overlook the wide range 
of photographic magazines on the racks, as if 
the subject matter were foreign to filming. 
But who has ever been credited as "DC" 
— Director of Cinematography? Photogra- 
phy is the essence of cinematography and, 
technically, the sole distinction between film 
and video. Moreover, those in the know will 
realize that innovations introduced to the 
lucrative consumer photo market inevitably 
filter down to the motion picture level. This is 
especially true of film stocks and lenses. 

A prime example of a photographic mag- 
azine with much to offer is Modern Pho- 
tography. This publication owns and operates 
a consumer testing lab in New Jersey, and test 
results comparing new cameras, lenses, film 
stocks and light meters are published monthly 
with a wonderfully detailed explication of test 
criteria. The February issue of MP featured 
the first demonstration of Kodak's electronic 
printing technique to eliminate grain and 
sharpen out-of-focus negatives. The April 
issue published extreme enlargements of 
prints made from Kodak's remarkable 
T-grain Kodacolor VR 1000 negative, which 
Kodak has widely hinted will find motion pic- 
ture application. The April issue of Camera 
Arts even printed a microphotographic cross 
section of the VR 1000 emulsion, revealing its 
innovative "inverted layer" structure, and the 
best capsule histories of 3-D and wide-screen 
cinematography are to be found in Variety, 
the weekly entertainment industry car- 
diogram. There's gold in them thar magazine 
racks. B 

David Leitner is an independent film pro- 
ducer who works at DuArt Film Labs in New 
York. 



(continued from page 3) 



Technological Breakthroughs Lower the Cost of Music 



STEWART DIAMOND PRODUCTIONS 

Music for Film, Video and Theatre 



Amazing sounding original music scores 

Full 8-track production facilities 

(featuring the exclusive use of wind synthesizers 

that transform human breath pressure into electrical voltages) 

Credits include top honors at Houston International Film Festival, Columbia, Orion, 

LIRS Records, commercials for Burger King, Martin Marrietta and many more. 

For more information call 877-1681. 



More Trouble 

Dear Independent: 

I am appalled by the number of factual er- 
rors, misquotes and arbitrary re-editing of 
statements into new (and incorrect) contexts 
in your May interview titled "Edin Velez 
Talks..." 

Lillian Jimenez and I talked at length and in 
great detail. Unfortunately, many of my 
answers have been edited into a higher level 
of incoherence than even I could have man- 
aged. Not only were parts of answers tacked 
on to different questions, but statements said 
in jest appear as fact. 

The factual errors in the piece are so nu- 
merous that correcting them would imply 
rewriting the entire piece; but some of the 
serious blunders cannot be allowed to stand 
uncorrected. 

Your headline "quote" about most art be- 
ing "bullshit" may be your editor's idea of 
provocative copy, but it is certainly not prop- 
er journalism. It is in fact a classic example of 
a quote lifted from context. In discussing this 
particular quote with Ms. Hulser, I realized it 
reflects her opinion more than mine. If I felt 
that quote was accurate, I would have chang- 
ed my profession years ago. It is a very unfair 
quote and does not do justice to many 
dedicated people in the medium. It is hard 
enough for serious artists to survive in these 
difficult times without having to deal with 
mud-slinging from within. 

My opening statement about there being no 
video in Puerto Rico referred to independent 
production on the island in 7970, not in the 
present, as the interview states. 

Later I am "quoted" as being turned down 
for funding "because my work was not suffi- 
ciently Puerto Rican." This has never been 
the case. I was referring to being turned down 
by a long-defunct Latino series for television: 
a far cry from a funding agency. I guess 
quoting me correctly would not have made 
for as controversial a statement. 

I did not "fear that many things I said 
would get me in a lot of trouble," as the in- 
troduction claims. That quote is take from a 
very long and involved answer on the subject 
of why I work in video, and was said with 
tongue planted firmly in cheek. Had I realized 
the cut-and-paste job the interview would 
turn out to be, I probably would have meant 
it. 

— Edin Velez 

The quotes are on the audiotape. Obvious- 
ly, a longer interview would offer more op- 
portunities for depth, but this is a small 
magazine. Also, it's the editor's responsibility 
to the readership to render ex tempore oral 
communication into something intelligible 
for a print audience, while preserving the 
flavor of the subject 's speech. We feel the in- 
terview is a fair selection of what Velez had to 
say and how he said it. — Ed. I 

JULY/AUGUST 19B3 



THE INDEPENDENT 



FESTIVALS 



Chicago Suffers 
A Priority Complex 

WENDY UDELL 



Chicago's "second city" complex is manifest- 
ed annually in November, when the urge to 
demonstrate its ability to stage a world-class 
film festival drives the festival directors to ig- 
nore certain principles of fairness and plain 
good sense. The festival does manage to 
achieve the glamour to which it aspires. "It 
smells of money," said one filmmaker. All at- 
tendees polled agreed that festival hospitality 
was first-class: limousines drive one between 
hotel and movie theater, and stars like Ann- 
Margret head the guest list. However, the 
$50/person "gala opening night" is an- 
nounced as "black tie optional" in cheap 
newsprint promotional mailings, sharing a 
page with a photo of the festival's directors 
mimicking the controversial 1974 wet T-shirt 
festival poster design, and you get the feeling 
that they may be trying too hard. 

The major complaints levied against the 
Chicago International Film Festival concern 
its entry fees. These range from $55 for films 
under 12 minutes to $100 for features, and 
this latter is waived at will for so-called "in- 
vited" films — meaning rarely for independ- 
ents. In response to criticism by the FIVF 
Festival Bureau that these fees are too high, 
executive director Suzanne McCormick 
points out that the festival must earn 80% of 
its $500,000 operating budget. Certainly 
money is a tight item for the arts in the 
Eighties, but no other major US film festival 



charges $100 for feature film entry. In fact, 
no other festival charges more than $50 (ex- 
cept the American Film Festival, which will be 
taken up later). It's true that the money has to 
come from somewhere, but replacing their 
fleet of limousines with municipal taxi service 
might do just as well. And to add insult to in- 
jury, the entry regulations clearly state that 
films will be insured for only $100 when they 
are returned. For $1 per film, this could be 
raised to the more realistic minimum of $500; 
after paying $100 to enter, the filmmakers 
deserve at least that much respect. 

So what does $100 buy in Chicago? Bob 
Jones, producer/director of Mission Hill, 
cited the first-class treatment, good organiza- 
tion and well-attended screenings with an op- 
portunity to talk with the audience. Both 
Jones and Yan Nascimbene, director of The 
Mediterranean, agreed that little opportunity 
to interact with the press was provided, and 
that little business was conducted. Jones 
pointed out, however, that Variety and the 
local press do attend press screenings held a 
week before the festival, and a clipping ser- 
vice sends press packets to all participants. 
Another positive note: Marc Huestis man- 
aged to find a distributor for his film What- 
ever Happened to Susan Jane? as a result of 
his screening in Chicago. Other American 
features shown at Chicago last year were Pur- 
ple Haze by David Morris, Forty-Deuce by 





DflMJH fOUPERBAG 

"An amazing amount of space!" 

— NEW YORK TIMES 

These practical Danish School Bags fea- 
ture six handy pockets, expandable 
sides, sturdy straps; wear like cold-rolled 
steel; will organize your life; are gener- 
ally splendiferous. Also, other Danish 
School Bag carriers make interesting din- 
ner companions. Perfect carry-on' flight 
bag, sensible gift. Brown. Black, Grey, 
Turquoise, Bright Blue, Orangey Red. 
$49.50, plus $3.00 shipping. 

THE CHOCOLATE SOUP 

946 Madison Avenue, New York 10021 



The girls chat in Whatever Happened to Susan Jane? which showed at the 1982 Chicago FF. 
JULY/AUGUST* 1983 



Paul Morrissey and Come Back to the Five 
and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean by 
Robert Altman, which won first prize. 

SHORT SHRIFT 

The situation for shorts and documentaries 
is completely different. Entry fees range from 
$55 to $90 depending on length. Screenings 
are held in the Behavioral Sciences Building 
of the University of Illinois and hardly publi- 
cized at all. The one and only reason to enter 
anything other than a feature in Chicago is to 
compete for a prize, which may then be used 
in the promotion of your film. One gold, 
silver and bronze "Hugo" (not to be confused 
with the science fiction writers' award of the 
same name) is awarded in each category: 
animation, documentary, short subject, 
video, student, educational, TV productions 
(network and local), TV commercials, trailers 
and posters. Several gold, silver and bronze 
plaques are also awarded in each category, 
and an endless number of certificates of 
merit. A look at last year's entries and win- 
ners shows that the chance of winning at least 
a certificate is approximately one in four or 
five, with the following exceptions: anima- 
tion, student and local TV production — one 
in two; TV commercials — one in three; and 
network TV production — one in eight. The 
fact that there are over 600 entries in all these 
categories combined, and therefore between 
$30,000 and $50,000 collected in entry fees, 

9 



THE INDEPENDENT 



raises serious questions about why the festival 
does not do more to promote them. You may 
consider the prestige of an award from 
Chicago worth the price of entry, but don't be 
misled into expecting anything else. (It might 
also be noted that the winning animated film 
in 1982 was a Walt Disney production.) 

There seem to be two separate festivals tak- 
ing place under the single aegis of the Chicago 
International Film Festival, and neither one 
gains through its association with the other. 
There are several possible ways to achieve 
greater integration, from the addition of 
shorts to each feature program to more daring 
programming policies which would mix 
genres more freely, like those at Filmex or 
Edinburgh. If the directors are unwilling to 
move in these directions, perhaps a complete 
separation of the two events would be advisa- 
ble, with the same or a different organization 
administering each one at different times of 
the year. Of course, this is strictly the Ameri- 
can independent point of view, and it should 
be noted that last year Variety said that the 
Chicago fest "continues to grow in stature for 
European filmmakers." 

Enter by Sept. 25. Contact: Michael Kutza, 
Director, Cinema/Chicago, 415 North Dear- 
born St., Chicago IL 60610; (312) 644-3400. 



Cinanima in Portugal 

Cinanima, the International Festival of 
Animation, which takes place November 
10-14, is a young six years old. Its home is 
Espinho, a charming town on the northern 
seacoast of Portugal. With little money 
available to them, the festival organizers work 
without pay, and their perseverance and love 
of animation will make this festival one to be 
reckoned with in the future. The festival com- 
petition has ten categories, including a new 
one made to order for American independent 
animators: Experimental Animation, ap- 
parently a first in the history of international 
animation festivals. Many films that have 
been screened here in recent years, such as 
Ubu, have gone on to win wide recognition at 
the larger, more prestigious festivals. 

With 175 films entered from 25 countries, 
the all-Portuguese selection committee chose 
72 films for competition and 28 for non- 
competition screenings last year. Shown were 
award-winners from the Ottawa and Zagreb 
Festivals, including Richard Condie's Pig 
Bird, Bretislav Pojar's E, Viviane Elnecave's 
Luna, Luna, Luna, Pavel Koutsky's Violin 
Concert, Sam Weiss' Hug Me, Maria Hor- 
vath's Night Delights and Georges Schwiz- 
gebel's Ravishing of Frank N. Stein. Many 
films that are either new or receiving little ex- 
posure were also screened, such as Rene 
Laloux's new feature animation Masters of 
Time (which received the prize for best 
feature), Bruno Bozzetto's Tennis Club, 
Ferenc Rofusz' Deadpoint and the new Czech 
film Complex by Macourek, Doubrava and 
Born. 

10 




Yan Nascimbene's The Mediterranean was part of the 
1982 Chicago Fest. 

The shows in the comfortable Casino 
Theatre began punctually and were well- 
attended by enthusiastic audiences. Film titles 
were announced in three languages (Portu- 
guese, French and English). Retrospectives of 
Polish animation occurred a bit late in the 
evening (11:30), but the festival staff was 
receptive to suggestions by its guests that late 
shows begin earlier next year. Another prob- 
lem was the disproportionate number of films 
in the 3-to-12-minute category (37), as op- 
posed to the under-3-minute (10) and 12-to- 
40-minute categories (4). The international 
jury (Italy, Romania, Spain, Holland and 
Portugal) tried to resolve the numbers prob- 
lem fairly by awarding two prizes in the 3-to- 
12-minute category; again the staff was en- 
tirely receptive to suggestions concerning 
changes for next year's categories. 

All guests were given daily bulletins on 
screenings, meetings and symposia. The third 
day featured a wine-tasting party in Porto and 
lunch in an elegant chateau. The final awards 
ceremony, held in the Casino, was a warm oc- 
casion ending with a buffet, disco-dancing 
and the presentation of Cinanima souvenirs 
to all foreign guests. 

This festival, as well as Nascente, the 
cultural organization that sponsors it, is 
serious about animated film. Partly because 




The boys are bored with school in Robert Jones' Mission 
Hill, also shown at Chicago. 



of the staff's receptivity to constructive 
criticism, the festival has grown much in the 
past six years, to a point where some of the 
best animators from around the world send 
their new films here. Cinanima promises to 
continue developing into a highly recognized 
international event. 

For further information, write: Cinanima 
Organizer Committee, Apartado 43, 4501 
Espinho Codex, Portugal. — David Ehrlich 

David Ehrlich is an animator who lives in 
Randolph VT. 

Cine Aloha 

The Hawaii International Film Festival is a 
non-competitive event emphasizing films with 
serious concerns of human interaction that 
occur in cross-cultural conflicts "when 
strangers meet." The 1982 festival used a for- 
mula of entertainment and education, mixing 
the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire 
with Wayne Wang's culturally insightful 
Chan is Missing, combining industry work- 
shops and social criticism, providing both 
parties reeking of champagne and glitter and 
sober seminars, lectures and group discus- 
sions. Wang said the festival possessed a dif- 
ferent quality from most, more culturally and 
academically oriented. He seemed pleased 
that the festival attracted people from outside 
the film world, and praised it as a place where 
"the filmmaker can relax and have a good 
time." Those lucky enough to have films ac- 
cepted are invited to stay in suites atop the 
Hyatt Regency Waikiki, with airfare included 
and a host family assigned to serve as escorts 
around Hawaii. 

Sponsors like the Hyatt Regency and 
World Airways, plus a budget of $215,000, 
have enabled Hawaii to grow enormously in 
an extremely short (two-year) existence. 
Festival director Jeannette Paulson, realizing 
the danger of becoming too commercial, 
commented in Hawaii Business that "We're 
not interested in becoming a circus like 
Cannes." "No small-festival quality" was 
Wang's only complaint about the event; he 
would have preferred a smaller, more in- 
timate theater. 

The festival receives international press 
coverage, and attracted an audience of 20,000 
over four days in 1982. Although the event is 
non-competitive, awards of recognition are 
presented. Features, documentaries and 
shorts from the US, Asia and the Pacific that 
attempt to promote understanding between 
countries and meet the theme "when 
strangers meet" are invited, and may be sub- 
mitted in 3 /4 " video for pre-screening. The 
festival will pay for transport of accepted 
films. There is no entry fee. FIVF has request- 
ed an extension of the June 1 deadline, but it 
is advisable to get in touch with the festival as 
soon as possible. Festival dates are Nov. 
13-19. Contact: Tom Jackson, Film Selection 
Chair, Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, East-West 
Center, 1777 East-West Rd., Honolulu HI 
96848 ; (808) 944-7608 . —Melody Pariser ■ 
JULY/AUGUST • 1983 



Color in the Consciousness Industry 



This special supplement contains a num- 
ber of presentations made during the New 
York University Cinema Studies// 7 / VF 
series "Color in the Consciousness In- 
dustry: Reaction & Resistance" in May 
1982. While space limitations do not per- 
mit us to publish all the valuable contribu- 
tions, the following selections reflect three 
intersecting concerns of the series: 
/. How do we develop and implement an 
anti-racist critique of dominant media 
within the film studies discipline, and 
within our own communities? 

2. How do we effectively produce and dis- 
tribute anti-racist independent tapes and 
films? 

3. How do we connect to the struggle for 
the "New World Information Order" — 
truly international communications sys- 
tems that are controlled by and serve the 
needs of all people? 

In practice, these complementary quests 
are not usually pursued in tandem. Pro- 
ducers tend to roll their eyes when 
academics wax eloquent about "decon- 
structing the discursive apparatus of nar- 
rative representation." Film studies 
devotees are disconcerted by the lack of 
formal awareness evident in many in- 
dependent films. And neither producers 
nor academics appreciate the reduction of 
the 'art' of film/video to an abstract "in- 
formation system" by communications 
theorists. 

Such distances between disciplines 
originate on campus: Media production, 
film studies and communications are often 
studied in separate buildings, under the 
auspices of separate departments. The 
death of the liberal arts education in the 
mid-Seventies put pressure on depart- 
ments to get practical and specialize, and 
woe to the student who tries to cross over. 
Once out of school, producers don't have 
much time for theory when yet another 
grant application is due. And even the 
most devoted indie buffs find it difficult to 
track down their tapes and films — let 
alone academics, busy keeping up with 
teaching schedules and the latest Euro- 



REACTION 

AND 

RESISTANCE 



Hollywood auteurist drek. All this adds up 
to sparse contact between professors and 
producers. 

But this polarized situation seems to be 
changing. Jump Cut, a magazine of pro- 
gressive media criticism, recently reported 
that only one of its editors had production 
experience when the periodical was found- 
ed in 1974, but now nearly all of the thirty- 
odd editors have been getting their feet wet 
in production. Indies were well-represent- 
ed at last fall's Union for Democratic 
Communications conference in Philadel- 
phia, an inspiring gathering of progressive 
academics dedicated to challenging the 
current "information disorder." "Reac- 
tion and Resistance," in its own way, at- 
tempted to bridge these concerns. Many of 
the issues raised concerning anti-racism 
and the media are not new, but counter- 
posing the different approaches to one 
another created a new framework and a 
new agenda for producers and academics 
in their work. 



3? 



Typically, the series concluded more by 
forcing questions than forging solutions. 
Among them: 

/. Censorship: How do we effectively 
combat racist media {Birth of a Nation, 
Fort Apache) and the censorship of our 
own "controversial" tapes and films that 
address racism (Hudlin/Oliver's Color)"? 
How do we organize to combat questiona- 
ble indie projects — do our "independent" 
allegiances transcend our political agen- 
das (e.g., see Nightsongs controversy, 
May Independent)! 

2. Aesthetics: How do we integrate a non- 
dismissive, non-condescending critique of 
so-called "apolitical" art video and film by 
Third World producers, both domestically 
and internationally, into the very political 
anti-racist alternative media debate (see 
Jimenez, p. 19)? 

3. Politics: How can we develop straight- 
forward and constructive language for ad- 
dressing our political (philosophical and 
practical) differences, without politely ig- 
noring, dismissing or avoiding the inevita- 
ble conflicts (see Oliver, p. 16)? 

4. Communication: How can academics, 
producers and our various communities 
work together on our plethora of common 
concerns? 

If the following pages trigger similar 
questions, their purpose will have been 
served. 

Finally, the four organizers of the series 
(Dee Dee Halleck, Pat Keeton, Ed Sim- 
mons and myself) wish to thank all the par- 
ticipants and the NYU Cinema Studies 
Department for help with this publication; 
Cheryl Solomon and Maria Cohen for 



helping to transcribe the presentations and 
the New York State Council on the Arts 
for assisting in this supplement's financ- 
ing . — John Greyson ■ 



The Quality Economy 

of SUPER 8, 

The Excellence of 

Beaulieu 




6008S AND 6008 PRO 
AVAILABLE DIGITAL 

• DIGITAL FRAME COUNTER 

• 200 FT. CARTRIDGE + TOTAL REWIND 

• VARIABLE SHUTTER 

• FPS SPEEDS 4 to 80 + SINGLE FRAME 

• INTERCHANGEABLE "C" MOUNT 

• SUPERB SOUND QUALITY 

• TIME LAPSE 

- R16- 

MONO - TURRET - ENDO 
Otto Hervic/j&eWieu. 

4907 Valjean Ave., Encino, Ca. 91436 
(213)981-7457 



THE INDEPENDENT 




teie press 



BROADCAST QUALITY 
VIDEO PRODUCTION 
8c POST PRODUCTION 

E.N.G. Package: 



Ikegami HL83 
SonyBVUllO 
Car, Crew, Etc. 

Va " Convergence Editing 



212 267-8221 



Teaching Racism as 
"Great Film Art" 
Is Questioned 



ED SIMMONS & PAT KEETON 

In film studies courses and film criticism, 
cinema is usually discussed in terms of its 
stars, writers and directors, ignoring both the 
economic system and the political/social con- 
text that produces such entertainment. The 
Birth of a Nation, long heralded as a master- 
piece of early Hollywood cinema, is also 
notorious as a virulently racist retelling of the 
Reconstruction period. It has been the subject 
of numerous struggles within film studies pro- 
grams over the years, with progressive 
students and sometimes faculty resisting the 
traditional apolitical teaching of Birth as 
great film art. 

In 1980, a number of students (including 
ourselves) protested the non-critical use of 
this film in New York University's Depart- 
ment of Cinema Studies. The department has 
consistently privileged Birth as a work of art, 
generally paying only lip service to its racist 
aspects. The department is almost entirely 
white, and although two tenured faculty 
members are women and a number of women 
have functioned as adjunct instructors, no 
black, Latino or Asian teachers have ever 
been hired. The department has made little ef- 
fort to redress its racial imbalance, either in 
terms of teachers or students, and in this vir- 
tually non-integrated environment the film- 
makers of tomorrow continue to study Birth 
uncritically. 

As members of InCAR (International 
Committee Against Racism), a multiracial, 
anti-racist radical reform organization af- 
filiated with the communist Progressive 
Labor Party, we felt that the place to address 
NYU's institutionalized racism was in the 
department where we were both students. 
Feeling that the department's uncritical policy 
regarding Birth was symptomatic of the whole 
university's policies regarding hiring, admis- 
sions and employment practices, through In- 
CAR we helped organize sit-ins in the depart- 
ment, disruptions of classroom screenings, 
and alternative discussions of the issues the 
film raises. These steps became necessary 
when the faculty members involved refused to 
address our concerns, or incorporate an ade- 
quate anti-racist analysis of the film into their 
courses. These struggles against the film con- 
tinue to this day. One concrete result triggered 
by the protests was the "Racism and Resis- 
tance" conference. 

David Wark Griffith, the son of a former 



12 



Confederate colonel, based the film on a 
book and play by Thomas Dixon, The Clans- 
man. Dixon's novel attempted to rewrite the 
history of Reconstruction, glorifying the Ku 
Klux Klan while ignoring the monumental in- 
justices of slavery and sympathizing entirely 
with the former slave owners. In 1913, Grif- 
fith and Dixon began production on the West 
Coast, recreating the South in California by 
setting up segregated barracks and using 
former Confederates as advisors. They were 
completely removed from the burgeoning 
black population of that era, who had begun 
to win their rights back after the end of the 
Reconstruction period. The film is perhaps 
more benign or paternalistic than the novel, 
which is extremely violent. Birth saves its 
racial violence for a series of climactic in- 
cidents in the film's second half, which 
culminate in a ride by the Klan to rescue a 
small band of whites and loyal black servants 
who are being attacked by the black militia. 

The film is in large part responsible for 
perpetuating stereotypes that still exist in 
popular entertainment (the happy domestic is 
the direct descendent of the loyal mammy). 
Birth was taken by many to be an accurate 
representation of Reconstruction, ignoring 
the eventual disenfranchisement of the black 
population or the virtual return to slavery in 
the form of sharecropping. Also ignored was 
the Klan's real role as a terrorist organization 
which helped reinstate the former slave 
owners and attacked both black and white 
workers. For example, in Florida in 1871, 153 
men were murdered by the Klan or by groups 
patterned on the KKK. 

1915, the year Birth was released, was the 
50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. 
Three years earlier, the Democrats had begun 
to regain power: Wilson was back in office 
and had begun to bring Democratic coalitions 
(largely Southern or Dixie Democrats) back 
into the White House. The 50th anniversary 
give rise to nostalgia for the lost cause of the 
antebellum South; the South's defeat was 
seen as having been due to the industrialized 
might of the North. A number of books and 
films began to revitalize the South's image as 
a genteel place. Griffith directed at least four 
films concerning the Civil War in the years 
just prior to the release of Birth. 

The film met with the approval of the ruling 

elite in 1915, but was immediately earmarked 

JULY/AUGUSTS 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 




for protest by the then-emerging NAACP. 
The protests ranged from attempts to enjoin 
censors to stop the screenings to riots outside 
theaters where the film played. Simultaneous- 
ly the Klan (which had been in decline) was 
revived, in part using the film as an advertis- 
ing vehicle. Hooded men rode outside of 
some theaters, and in many places recruit- 
ment ads for the KKK appeared next to news- 
paper ads for the film. Birth continues to be 
used today as a KKK recruiting tool. 

Screening the film uncritically in film 
studies courses is not the sole issue, but rather 
a tangible example of the various ways in 
which racism is promoted, both consciously 
and unconsciously, in our society to this day. 
Combating racism was and is the purpose of 
our protests at NYU. Only through the active 
involvement of all people can racism be 
ended. ■ 



Capital Resources 

Looking for a location in Louisiana? Crying tor a 
crew in Colorado? Aching to edit in Alaska 7 The ever- 
enterprising staff of AIVF has compiled a library of 
production information from US state and city film 
commissions. Helpful resources include maps, hotel 
and restaurant guides, photo essays of available 
locations, addresses and phone numbers of union 
locals, production companies, equipment rental and 
talent agencies. Even animals and airplanes can be 
found. Many film commissions provide free liaison 
and information services. Most have toll-free 
numbers. Directories are on file at AIVF for 
reference only. 



The "Body & Soul" of 
Early Black Filmmaking 
In the US 



PEARL BOWSER 

Pearl Bowser, a director of Third World 
Newsreel in New York, has been involved 
with exhibition and historical research on 
black American film for over a decade. As 
founder and director of Chamba Educational 
Film Services, she maintains a library of 
films, tapes, stills and other memorabilia 
documenting the history of black American 
films. Contact: Chamba Educational Film 
Services, PO Box U, Brooklyn NY 11202. 

Bill Foster, originally a publicist for the 
Williams & Walker vaudeville team, was the 
earliest known independent black filmmaker. 
In 1912 he produced a short film entitled The 
Railroad Porter. Later, as a freelance reporter 
and promoter, he became a staunch supporter 
and occasional backer for independent pro- 
ductions, stating at one point that "film is the 
only way for the black man to make money 
and set the race right with the world." Two 
years before D.W. Griffith's racist film Birth 
of a Nation, Bill Foster was already respon- 
ding to the negative stereotyping of blacks in 
moving pictures, recognizing the need to 
counter those images by using film for 
"positive race propaganda." 

In 1915, Noble Johnson and his brother 
George founded Lincoln Pictures. The 
Johnson brothers exemplified the concern of 
early independent black filmmakers with the 
use of the screen image for positive role 
models. Lincoln Pictures produced several 
short melodramas about middle-class black 
life, with characters portrayed as educated 
high achievers with the mobility to make it in- 
to the mainstream of America's melting pot. 
Symbols of middle-class leisure provide the 
backdrop for romantic adventure stories. The 
titles of the films reveal plots dealing with suc- 
cess and heroism: The Realization of a 
Negro 's Ambition, A Man 's Duty, The Laws 
of Nature. . .Black dialect, associated with 
the low comedy of vaudeville and blackfaced 
comics, was shunned. Poverty was rarely a 
subject, unless it served as punishment (tem- 
porary) for a fall from grace, as when the hero 
of A Man's Duty believes he has been the 
cause of another character's death. The films 
of this period (1920s) attempted to project 
black images diametrically opposed to the 
stereotypes of blacks in Hollywood or white- 
made movies. 



JULY/AUGUSTS 1983 



MR. FILMMAKER 

Writer/novelist Oscar Micheaux saw the 
media as a way to sell his books, and his 
books as a way to sell the pictures he pro- 
duced. He made his first film, The 
Homesteader, in 1918, based on his 1913 
novel called The Conquest. An important 
figure in black film history, Micheaux is 
known for both his productivity and his 
outlook, which differed sharply with that of 
other filmmakers of the '20s. His career 
spanned 30 years (1918-1948), during which 
time he produced over 20 features and 6 
novels. Micheaux was often the subject of 
controversy, and at odds with his audiences as 
well as other producers, because of his treat- 
ment of race issues and other sensitive subject 
matter. He gained considerable recognition 
around the country in the cities and towns 
where he booked his films; in fact, in Harlem, 
where he established his office, he was called 
"Mr. Filmmaker." 

In 1921 Micheaux produced Within Our 
Gates, a cautionary tale about lynching and 
black-against-black. "The Tattler" is the 
black villain, the Uncle Tom who ingratiates 
himself with the whites by spying on other 
blacks. This film created quite a furor when it 
opened: Some viewers objected to the black 
villain; others were fearful that the depiction 
of lynching would incite further violence 
against blacks. Censors' boards in various 
cities and towns sought to bar the film unless 
certain scenes were deleted. Micheaux made 
capital of the controversy, removing "objec- 
tionable" scenes in one town and then adver- 
tising in another that he was showing the "un- 
cut, uncensored" version. In fact he would 
frequently edit on the road, taking out scenes 
or putting them back, lengthening or altering 
a film when ticket sales fell below his expecta- 
tions. 

The early independent producer/directors 
selected their casts from stage performers. 
Micheaux built a star system, using the same 
actors in several pictures, sometimes choosing 
leads on the basis of looks rather than great 
talent. The standards of beauty and glamour 
were set by whites — for example, the white- 
owned Cotton Club in Harlem selected only 
fair-skinned women for its chorus line — and 
perpetuated by blacks. Top performers ap- 

13 



THE INDEPENDENT 



pearing regularly were usually lighter- 
skinned; some even referred to themselves by 
the names of their "look-alike" idols, such as 
the "black Garbo," the "black John Gilbert" 
or "Jimmy Cagney." Also, at that time, not 
every image on the screen was accurate in 
terms of color. The indies used apprentice 
camera and lighting people who either did not 
know how or overlooked the need to adapt 
the film stock for darker skin tones, or the 
lighting for varied tones in the same shot. In 
the beginning Lincoln Pictures used white ac- 
tors to play white roles, as did other com- 
panies. But soon whites fearful of damage to 
their careers withdrew from participation in 
front of the camera on black productions; 
some production technicians refused credit 
on the films for similar reasons. Consequently 
light-skinned blacks played "white" roles in 
the '30s and '40s in independent black pro- 
ductions. 

The silent period of Micheaux contains 
perhaps his best and strongest work, in- 
cluding his only surviving film, the 1924 Body 
and Soul. It is notable for Paul Robeson's 
film debut, and was Robeson's only oppor- 
tunity to work with a black director. Body 
and Soul's story is the nightmare of an older 
matron of the church, which revolves around 
the figure of a jackleg preacher, portrayed by 
Robeson. The preacher is the total embodi- 
ment of evil: he's a drunkard, he steals 
money, he rapes young girls. But after setting 
up the audience with this negative picture of 



FIRST CLASS SERVICE 

Add $10 to your regular annual membership fee. 

and you'll get The Independent via first class 

mail — in time for every deadline. Send your check 

or money order to FIVF, 625 Broadway, New York, 

NY 10012. 



the ministry, Micheaux lets them down by 
revealing the character to be a figment of a 
dream. 

In 1924 times were hard; extreme racism 
prevailed throughout the country, and blacks 
were dislocated by urban migration. Happy- 
go-lucky movies served as an escape. So for 
Micheaux to convey this very personal view of 
the role of women in the church and the 
character of the rogue preacher, he had to 
create a nightmare fantasy device and then 
clean it up to make it acceptable. Otherwise, 
he could not have gotten it through the 
cinemas; as a matter of fact, in certain areas 
the film was not allowed to be shown. 



MORE EXPOSURE 

It was very difficult to market these films, 
but Micheaux managed to hold on until 1948, 
still trying to make films for that black 
market. He was honored by Variety in 1939 
for his importance in building a black au- 
dience. He demonstrated the falsity of the 
maxim that middle-class black audiences will 



not support black films. The truth is that the 
visibility of the black independent filmmaker 
has been very limited. We do not have the ex- 
posure that traditionally distributed films 
give, nor do we have access to the TV au- 
dience. It's just beginning to happen now. 

Very few people even knew that there were 
black independent films in the 1920s. This lit- 
tle alternative body of work gradually devel- 
oped an audience. Even today, people are 
amazed when they see a film like Kathy Col- 
lins' Losing Ground — a professionally made, 
beautifully shot, intense, dramatic film. Peo- 
ple wonder why they can't see it in a movie 
house. She's having difficulty getting a com- 
mercial release; even so-called independent 
exhibitors say things like "there's no au- 
dience." 

But 1980 was a take-off point. Since then, 
there has been a good deal more exposure and 
TV sales. All of this hinges on European 
recognition of black filmmakers. Now, 
American critics have to focus on them. In 
1981 for the first time I was able to get the 40 
films in the "Independent Black American 
Cinema 1920-1980" show presented in major 
theaters in this country — after they were 
shown in Paris. To cite a current example, 
Charles Burnett's 1977 Killer of Sheep is so 
hot, we don't have enough prints. Many small 
theaters now want to book it — thanks again 
to Paris. And that says something about the 
history and present nature of the distribution 
problems that black independents face. ■ 




YOU CREATE... WE INNOVATE! 

We innovate with Custom Insurance Programs 
for the Communications Industry 




COHEN INSURANCE 



225 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001 
Ron Cohen/Rae Flamm (2 1 2) 244~8075 

9000 Sunset Blvd. #506, Los Angeles CA 90069 



Member AICP 



(213)858-1848 



THE INDEPENDENT 



The Storming 
Of "Fort Apache" 



Protesting the infamous "Fort Apache: The Bronx" 

film teaches a community to think critically about movie 

images & the powerful industry that produces them. 



When the Committee Against Fort Apache 
began the movement against the film we 
thought that, one: we had to destroy the 
Hollywood stereotypes, and two: we had to 
create new alternatives and support our own 
filmmakers. As community organizers we use 
film as a vehicle to bring people together to 
struggle against stereotypic images from mass 
culture. We try to link those images to real- 
life things that are taking place — in the South 
Bronx, in particular. 

Fort Apache: The Bronx is a movie about 
police in the South Bronx who see themselves 
as the US cavalry surounded by hostile In- 
dians. Paul Newman plays a liberal maverick 
policeman fighting for social justice. He has 
certain boundaries: he doesn't throw people 
off the roof, he just smacks them. There are 
the good cops and the bad cops, and the au- 
dience is manipulated into identifying with 
the good cops. The criminals are not 
characters per se; they're the embodiment of 
every characteristic of every evil person that 
you could think of. They pimp their own 
sisters; they sell heroin to their children. 

The opening scene pretty much sets the 
tone for the entire movie. In it Pam Grier, 
who has a long history of appearing in black 
exploitation films — she was in Coffee and 



RICHIE PEREZ 

Foxy Brown — comes staggering down an 
early-morning street in a devastated South 
Bronx area. It doesn't look as if there's any 
life, just abandoned buildings. She's wearing 
a very short, low-cut dress and her breasts are 
falling out. Two cops are sitting a car, making 
comments about her. She walks over and 
flirts with them, leans into the car, pulls a gun 
out of her bag and empties it, leaving them 
dead with bullet holes in their faces. Then the 
camera pulls back. That's just the first minute 
of the film: "a typical morning in the South 
Bronx." 

So in organizing, we first read the book that 
the film was based on. Then we got a copy of 
the first version of the screenplay and did an 
analysis in terms of characterizations and 
themes. Then we called for a meeting with the 
film's producers. People still have the idea 
that the makers of these films are creative, 
freaked-out artists behind a camera doing 
their thing. That's not what's happening. It is 
corporate America making these films, 
deciding which ones will be financed and 
which will not. In this case the film was 
financed by Time Inc., which also owns Time 
magazine, Fortune, Life, Sports Illustrated, 
Discover, Home Box Office, Inland Con- 
tainer Corp. and Temple Industries. In- 



terestingly, Fort Apache was the beginning of 
Time Inc.'s entry into production; their idea 
was to produce their own films, show them in 
theaters, then vertically integrate them into 
their HBO operation. 

But our immediate concern in the Puerto 
Rican community was that this film, built on 
a long list of negative stereotypes, was a visual 
reinforcement of the attack on the inner cities 
now occurring: an attack on the past gains of 
the Civil Rights movement and on affirmative 
action. For example, in the film Paul 
Newman's position (and remember, he's the 
liberal) is that nothing can be done with the 
South Bronx but to bulldoze it into the river. 
There have been other films that we've con- 
sidered racist, but we felt that, given the kinds 
of things that were happening in our com- 
munity at the time, this film represented an 
ideological reinforcement of the physical 
reality that we are struggling with: denial of 
health care, rising police brutality, lack of 
housing, unemployment etc. The film raised 
some of these issues — negatively. One exam- 
ple: In the film heroin is channelled through 
hospitals in the South Bronx, and doctors and 
nurses within those hospitals are portrayed as 
conduits for the heroin to the drug pushers in 
(continued on page 26) 




JULY! AUGUST* 1983 



15 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Coming Up Slowly: 
Exhibition Alternatives 



Beyond blaxploitation, black filmmakers work to build 
audiences for all sorts of films: shorts, documentaries, art 
pieces & fiction. Also, a view of the "Color" controversy. 



Mention black independent film a few 
years ago and most people wouldn't know 
what you meant. The only concept of black 
movies were the Hollywood ones that were 
also exported to places like Senegal: Shaft, 
.Scream Blacula Scream and other "blax- 
ploitation" flicks. We consider the first major 
black independent film to have been Sweet 
Sweetback's Baadasss Song, because of the 
way it was independently financed and dis- 
tributed. It made enough money for Holly- 
wood to take notice. The studios were going 
bankrupt, and saw a way out. That was the 
start of the black exploitation period: lots of 
low-budget garbage films that put the studios 
back on their feet. 

Then they found out demographically that 
they could get black people to go to the 
movies without any blacks in the films. The 
Exorcist and The Omen would attract large 
numbers of black people and bring in that ex- 
tra money. So now we have black kids, when 
they're not playing video games on 42nd 
Street, going in to see The Empire Strikes 
Back, with Billy Dee Williams thrown in as a 
bonus. 

So the majority of people in our communi- 
ty thought that black movies meant blax- 
ploitation films, because they saw black faces; 
whether the images were negative, positive or 
realistic wasn't the point. That was simply the 
only place you could see black faces. Those 
films gave people in the rest of the world an 
impression of what was happening with 
blacks in America. This was during the Six- 
ties: On the one hand, you have a major 
political movement for black self- 
determination and social change — in short, a 
revolution going on in this country. On the 
other hand, the mass media images fed to 
black people around the world, and to us 
right here at home, showed people with big 
cars and lots of diamond rings doing real 
good selling dope in the community, or stand- 
ing out on the streetcorners selling their 
bodies. This created a contradiction in peo- 
ple's heads, because those images weren't 
(and still aren't) controlled by ourselves. Ob- 
viously, we control very few radio stations 
and zero television stations. The last figure I 
saw for movie theatres was that five are own- 

16 



DENISE OLIVER 

ed by black people in the US, and they show 
garbage like all the others. Name me a black- 
owned movie theatre in Harlem or Bedford- 
Stuyvesant! They don't exist. 

What were our options? You could get a 
church basement or block off a street to show 
our kinds of films, even though people didn't 
even know those films existed. Even if we'd 
known they existed, there was no place to 
show them. The Black Filmmaker Founda- 
tion was started with the realization that there 
were films made by black folks that presented 
a very different set of images than those made 
by the major Hollywood studios. They were 
sitting, for the most part, on people's shelves 
or in their closets, because there was nothing 
anyone could do with them. People were at- 
tempting to distribute their works individual- 
ly. Some were a little more successful than 
others, but there was no infrastructure, no 
developed mechanism to do this on a 
systematic basis. 

Every once in a while, one would slip 
through the cracks. Warrington Hudlin was 
one of these. When he founded the Black 
Filmmakers' Cooperative Distribution Ser- 
vice in 1 978, he had done a very successful job 
of distributing his own film, and thought his 
techniques could work for other people. The 
distribution co-op was formed using the com- 
bined resources of its members and the Foun- 
dation. Besides collectively promoting films, 
the Foundation provides support services to 
the filmmakers, to help them with the bus- 
iness aspects of independent production and 
to help them identify new sources of money. 

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS 

At first it was defined narrowly as repre- 
senting films made by black Americans. The 
primary purpose was to get those films out to 
the black community as the primary au- 
dience. There were about 30 films in the first 
catalogue that were dragged out of people's 
basements, closets, and out of hock. The 
catalogue was sent to Black Studies programs, 
universities, churches and community 
organizations in the United States — with 
good results. Soon we started organizing ex- 
hibition series where the film and the film- 
maker went to the community, to begin to 



demystify the process of filmmaking. Film- 
making obviously doesn't have to take 93 col- 
lege degrees, $500,000 worth of equipment 
and a $5,000,000 budget. The filmmaker also 
has a responsibility to take criticism from the 
community, and to give it back again. 

Every summer we do an exhibition series 
called Dialogues for Black Filmmakers where 
we take film into community sites — not the 
typical places you would expect to see films. 
We've gone to hospitals and discotheques 
— we figure that's where we'll find a lot of 
folks out dancing. We took them to a karate 
building up in the Bronx once. We put ads in 
the Black American, the Amsterdam News, 
Big Red and the Village Voice, but the biggest 
response we ever got was from a piece in the 
New York Daily News. We took a survey of 
all the people who attended the series and 
found out that the majority of them had seen 
the piece in the News, which makes a lot of 
sense: A lot of working-class folks want the 
sports section, the coupons and the lottery 
numbers. 

We had to construct these alternative 
screening ventures because of the system. If 
you're advertising, you must have a theater 
and the money to rent it. Who is going to risk 
that for black independent film? 

However, we also know that the most 
powerful medium for exposing film in this 
country is television. We're supposed to be 
allowed access to public television, but we all 
know who controls it. The system has institu- 
tionalized some extremely racist policies. I 
worked for two years in the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting. It's not particularly in- 
terested in being supportive about the 
development of black television stations. 
They may let you run the odd radio station, 
but they won't let you in the TV ballpark, 
because TV is a more important control 
mechanism in this country, and public televi- 
sion stations aren't ready to accommodate the 
type of messages that certain black folks 
might want to start saying. 

"COLOR" WARS 

Take Channel 13 in New York. We've 

always complained that there are no black 

JULY/AUGUSTS 1983 



THE INDEPENDENT 



people in decision-making programming 
positions there. Finally, WNET hired a black 
vice president, the Rev. H. Carl McCall. In 
1982, I wrote a script for my a piece my hus- 
band, Warrington Hudlin, produced, called 
Color, which was about the conflicts between 
color, class and caste within the black com- 
munity. I think these issues apply to the Puer- 
to Rican community also, where the lighter 
your skin is, the straighter your hair and nose, 
the higher up you move. We produced it dur- 
ing an Artist-in-Residency at WNET. It was 
completed, approved and scheduled for a 
prime-time air date in November. 

A Puerto Rican station board member 
thought Color was wonderful, and called Mc- 
Call to tell him how Channel 13 does such 
great, provocative stuff. McCall took one 
look at it and was ready to throw up. Color 
was pulled off the air. He was so uncomfort- 
able because it attacked the black middle ■ 
class. It attacked all of these flights to the 
Coast and summer vacations on Cape Cod 
and all of the things that one is taught to 
respect, honor, revere and marry into, in 
order to move up in your own community. 
Ultimately, we were battling with a person 
from our own color group, someone whose 
particular political orientation and class posi- 
tion were different. We lost, and other black 
filmmakers have had similar experiences. 
[Color finally premiered on WNYC, New 
York's municipal Channel 31, in spring 
1983— Erf.]. 

However, there's also UHF Channel 31, a 
municipal station which has never had much 
of a profile here because of its uptown com- 
petition. WNYC decided to redo itself and 
brought in a whole new staff, including Bob 
Gore, an old friend and a brother, to run the 
station. Gore decided to turn their prime-time 
programming (which used to be the Fireman 's 
Hour and whatever) into something called the 
Black Cultural Service, and a primary compo- 
nent would be black film. The Black Film- 
maker Foundation worked out a cooperative 
arrangement with WNYC: in exchange for of- 
fice space, rent, telephones and services, BFF 
provides programming services to Channel 
31. This has not just been for black in- 
dependents' films; we have been able to in- 
crease the number of other kinds of independ- 
ent films that they show as well. 

WNYC is practically an aberration within 
the public system, however. The Black Film- 
maker Foundation had a conference on black 
independent filmmakers almost two years 
ago, and Jose Rivera from CPB's Board of 
Directors attended. As probably the only ac- 
tivist on that Board (and someone I have a lot 
of respect for), he told us: "Look, I'm out 
there trying to wage struggle within this mess. 
I can't do it if I don't have support from you 
all. If I get letters, outraged letters and 
demands, then I can march in to the Board 
and say: T got a hundred letters from these 
angry producers who say they they don't like 
what's going on, and they're going to come in 
here and tear the building down if you don't 
do X, Y and Z.'" If he doesn't have anybody 

JULY/AUGUST* 1083 




Its concentration on class hierarchies within the black community based on skin tones made Color by Warrington 
Hudlin & Denise Oliver too hot to handle for NY's Ch. 13. 



behind him, he'll be all alone in left field. You 
have to be conscious about funding and 
distribution, and about getting good people 
into positions of power. You really need 
somebody who can make a positive decision 
and introduce a different perspective, 
especially in the peer panel process. 

BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A GRAND? 

For black filmmakers, funding is basically 
a patchwork quilt. In order to make even ex- 
cruciatingly low-budget films, you have to go 
to 19 or 20 different sources. The average 
black indie probably makes one film every 
three or four years, because the rest of the 
time they're chasing after dollars. By the time 
you get enough money to shoot the film, the 
issue that was pressing at that moment is 
buried somewhere in the morgue of the 
newspaper. 

In the near future, we're going to have to 
find other sources for major financing within 
our own communities. Whether we're going 
to have to bang down the doors of Parks' 
Sausages or other major businesses that make 
money, or whether we're going to have to 
convince folks like Sidney Poitier who have 
some money to start investing it back or 
whatever, we need to start building options. 
We don't know what the implications of the 
budget cuts to the National Endowment for 
the Arts will be, or what's going to happen 
with the NY State Council for the Arts. It's 
only recently that black filmmakers have got- 
ten their foot in the door to even get those 
funds, and you know what happens when the 
door gets closed: The ones who got in last are 
the ones who go out first. At the same time, 



because of certain kinds of pressures that 
have been brought to bear by various 
organizations, many funding bodies that 
didn't fund black work in the past are begin- 
ning to do so now. In addition, a lot of film- 
makers are spending more time in Europe 
looking for co-production money there. 

One important recent development is the 
emergence of black women filmmakers. A 
few years ago there weren't very many, but 
I'm very pleased to be able to say that all of a 
sudden there are lots. I recently counted 
about twenty women independents. In fact, 
of the black students in the undergraduate 
film class at UCLA, all are women except 
one. Most women deal with survival, or 
women's issues from a black perspective. 

We often find that people expect each film 
to be the end-all and be-all — answering all the 
questions, taking all the positions and captur- 
ing the total situation of black folks in 
America. Obviously, that's impossible. We 
need hundreds and hundreds of films that 
deal with history, with the present and with 
the future. The trouble is: we don't have hun- 
dreds of filmmakers, and we don't have the 
hundreds of thousands of dollars it would 
take to make those hundreds of films. 

In the long run, I'm not talking about us 
organizing just to get more black films. We 
should actively fight to develop a more 
humane society where it won't be necessary to 
have something called the Black Filmmaker 
Foundation. It's absurd that we have to have 
this "special interest" focus; we don't only 
want to talk about black films. We might 
want to talk about other films and other 
areas, but right now we can't afford the lux- 
ury of doing it. ■ 

17 



Picture yourself here. . . 


i 


,, " ■ ~ 






1 


■ 4| 


ill 1 II W 

HHKH0I wLm^^^x^w^ ns&f. A 


f 


1 ^ 


fy 


^^? ~ ■ 1 

l--'M iiiHumiiiiiB "^w 



in the best editing room in New York City 



• Fully computerized CMX < 
system 

• 3 /4" to 1", Betacam to 1 " < 

• Vidifont color correction 

• Time Coding, Soundmixing 

• Emmy Award Winning Editor < 
in Chief John J. Godfrey 

Total package §175/hr 

This is 25% less than similar facilities in New York 



1 Free capuccino 

• We also rent production 
equipment & crews 

► 20% additional discount for 
AIVF members 

Featuring the new 
SONY BETACAM 

One-inch quality at cassette prices 



Some of the independents and corporations who have used our services: 

PBS • NBC • WNET/13 • HBO • CBC • NHK • Saga Productions • Cinema Arts 

• Mary Lucier • David Loxton • Jon Alpert • John Sanborn • Keiko Tsuno • Collis Davis 

Amy Greenfield • Nam June Paik • Skip Blumberg • Kit Fitzgerald • Dan 8c Terry Mack • 



87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013 

For Scheduling Call (212) 925-3429 



THE INDEPENDENT 



First Steps to Develop 
Latino Alternatives 



LILLIAN JIMENEZ 

How have the media been used in this coun- 
try to keep Third World people colonized? The 
first step in answering that question is to ex- 
amine the ways in which we see ourselves, the 
ways that we identify, not just with our own 
culture or people, but with the dominant socie- 
ty. If I straightened my hair, I'd have an "in" 
because I'd become more palatable to more 
people. It would mean freer access to jobs; my 
possibilities would be far less limited (unless my 
accent seeped through). When Third World 
people begin to mimic the dominant society, 
we begin to enslave ourselves. As independent 
producers, we're supposedly a part of the 
media industry in this country, but the degree 
to which we identify ourselves with other Third 
World people is pretty minimal at this point. 

Part of the idea of constructing alternatives 
is that when we create media, we're rejecting 
the industry mind-set which suggests that if we 
succeed we can make it out of our class, our 
ghetto and our cultural mind frameworks. 
That industry role model doesn't really work, 
of course; it simply perpetuates this in- 
dividualistic, upwardly-mobile myth that we 
can in fact "make it." 

Organizations across the country like Visual 
Communications in California, Asian Cine- 
Vision in New York, Cineaction in San Fran- 
cisco, Third World Newsreel, the Black Film- 
maker Foundation, the Chicano Coalition and 
Latino TV Broadcasting are important models, 
but they're really not enough. There's cable, 
there are the new technologies. We need to 
think about how we can replicate the strengths 
of existing structures when we begin to develop 
other models on a much higher level. 

We also need to be self-critical. For a long 
time people saw AIVF, the organization that 
represents producers, as this monolithic white 
male structure that they had to break into. 
Racism is not something you can eliminate just 
by working with somebody. I learned through 
experience that you look tactically for your 
allies, you start working with them, and then 
the real internal struggles start. Having 
theoretical discussions is wonderful, and it can 
set parameters that we need as reference 
points, but if you don't get in there and dirty 
your hands a little bit, then it doesn't work. 
The practical realities of who's going to do the 
filmmaking, who's going to do the camera 
work and who's ultimately going to shape the 
images can't be theorized. 

CLASS & COLOR TENSIONS 

I was criticized a great deal for working with 
AIVF. People were saying: "We need to set up 
our own structures; we need to work by 



ourselves; we don't need white folks; we need 
to break that dependency." I've always main- 
tained that we need to look at how we can work 
with white people, especially people who are 
outside of our class, educating them and being 
educated also. I worked on a film with two 
North American middle-class whites, What 
Could You Do with a Nickel?, concerning 
black housekeepers from the South Bronx 
organizing a union. I come from a working- 
class background, and working with these two 
people, collaboratively developing images of 
women beginning to take destiny into their 
own hands, was immensely difficult. We 
weren't having theoretical discussions on how 
racism manifests itself in the media: we were 
sitting in the editing room looking at our rush- 
es. My co-producers sometimes misinterpreted 
what some of the subjects were saying, and I 
tried to reinterpret it for them. The struggle 
was intense, and I constantly wanted to leave. I 
stuck it out because I had a responsibility to 
continue the project and the co-producers were 
open to my criticisms. I also felt that it was a 
process that I, as a Puerto Rican person, had to 
go through. 

At this point, we can't depend on the 
government. There may have been several 
liberal thinkers in decision-making roles in re- 
cent memory, who stressed the need to develop 
a somewhat pluralistic society, but they're 
gone now. How are the resources from our 
own communities going to be mobilized, so we 
can develop adequate distribution, promotion 
and production of our own work? As Third 
World people we have to combat racism at all 
levels and provide leadership for other people, 
because we're the ones who know the reality of 
racism on a daily basis. 

At one point El Museo del Barrio in East 
Harlem had grandiose schemes for jumping on 
the low-power TV bandwagon by providing bi- 
lingual community programming for the area. 
We gathered together every possible film and 
videomaker and started to raise funds. Then 
we found out low power was impossible there 
because the airwaves were already jam-packed 
with the signals of CBS, ABC and so on. 
However, even that little interaction forced the 
community to realize that it was way behind 
other localities in media. Outside of the Native 
American community, the Latino community 
at this point has the least access. We began to 
think about how we could promote our own 
Latino producers, regardless of their class or 
their status as independents. We organized a 
festival in 1981 which was fairly primitive, but 
it brought together a lot of material from 
across the country. For the second year, we 
were able to publish a very slick little program 



that we disseminated around the country. We 
realized that we didn't know what audience the 
festival would attract: Would we get the 
regular arts constituency, or would we talk to 
our own community? We need to learn from 
the Black Filmmaker Foundation and develop 
a whole exhibition program that goes to the 
Pentecostal churches, the social clubs and 
community organizations and start to pull in 
some of those community people. My mother 
is a prime example. My sister went to the 
festival every day, and said, "C'mon Ma, why 
don't you come down? It's all Latino, and it's 
in Spanish." Ma said, "Oh no, I can't go to 
that, that's not for me." I've been working in 
media since 1975, but a non-theatrical setting is 
still totally alien to her, either as entertainment, 
leisure or education. She sits from 4:30 to 9:30 
at night watching her soap operas, novellas, 
crying and weeping and wishing and aspiring 
and identifying with everything that goes on 
there, and the novellas still have Latinos dress- 
ing in blackface. 

In programming the Latino Film and Video 
Festival our selection panel viewed work that 
was extremely sexist and racist, including por- 
trayals of women as suffering martyrs and 
chaste virgins. There was a very intense strug- 
gle around what pieces to show and promote, 
which artists would be pushed into the 
limelight. Essentially, we were choosing 
representative film and videomakers from our 
community, and we knew that several were 
anti-progressive, though they were technically 
competent. In different circumstances we 
would not be in the same room together, 
because their politics and roles as artists con- 
flict with mine. Yet when it comes down to 
promoting Latino film and video, I have to in- 
clude them because those people work in the 
community and everybody knows that they're 
there. I'll do that, but at the same time I'm go- 
ing to try as hard as hell not to have that person 
be prominent. I'm probably killing myself by 
saying that, but that's my political agenda. 

Finally, how are we going to get people like 
my mother to go into an institution like El 
Museo, which has its own audience of 
working-class people? We have to start identi- 
fying those business people in our community 
who have some access to money, and get them 
involved in the process of production and 
distribution. We have to produce media that 
breaks down those stereotypical self-images. 
When I say "we" I don't just mean my mother 
and other working-class people; people like me 
aren't any more immune to those images than 
anyone else. Our ethnic/class origins make us 
just as colonized as the very people we want to 
"liberate." Real liberation comes from our 
own struggle: breaking down those images for 
ourselves, then sharing these mechanisms 
we've used so that other people can do it. 
Finally, I think that everybody, not just Third 
World people, has a responsibility to work 
towards creating alternatives, developing 
leadership, struggling against racism. We 
should advance not just Third World media, 
but media that speaks about liberating all peo- 
ple. ■ 



JULY/AUGUST • 1983 



19 



THE INDEPENDENT 



fi 



Veiled Videos 

Shooting 

in the Sahara 

KATHLEEN HULSER 




V 



Djamila Olivesi is a North African film- 
maker, writer and poet who was raised in 
Morocco and Algeria. In addition to her 
current work on scripts for Argentinian 
exile Fernando Solanas and Angolan Sara 
Maldoror, she has recently published a 
volume of poetry and continues to support 
herself as a freelance journalist concen- 
trating on political topics. 

In May she attended the Third World 
Cinema Conference with a print of her 
16mm film, The Children ofthePolisario, 
a short animated work which won first 
prize at the 1981 International Women's 
Festival (Les Gemeaux) in Paris. The film, 
constructed from drawings by Polisario 
children set to a poetic ballad by Olivesi, 
gives a kids'-eye view of their cosmos from 
camel caravans to the onslaught of King 
Hassan's planes. The war between the 
King of Morocco and the Saharawi, the in- 
digenous inhabitants of the disputed ter- 
ritory in the former Spanish Sahara desert, 
is an ominous and omnipresent reality for 
the children, some of whom have known 
little but the war and life in refugee camps. 

A total newcomer to video, Olivesi not 
only taught herself on the job; she also 
recruited soundpersons and production 
assistants from the inhabitants of the 
refugee camps who were watching her 
shoot. The resulting hours of videotape 
are currently stockpiled in Paris, awaiting 
the collection of more recent material, so 
that Olivesi can put the updated versions 
into circulation. 

The Children of the Polisario exists in 
both a French and an Arabic version, and 
has been shown on Algerian TV. In the 
course of our conversation the filmmaker 
pointed out that there are still very few 



possibilities for distributing Third World 
films, even in the countries where they are 
produced. As usual, this situation is large- 
ly attributable to the distribution 
stranglehold the West exercises. Ending on 
a note of hope, Olivesi added that through 
the efforts of such cinephiles as Boujmaa 
Kareche of the Cinematheque Nationale in 
Algiers, films of social, political and 
historical importance do make the rounds 
of a small but enthusiastic Cine-Club 
16mm circuit in Algeria. 

DJAMILA OLIVESI: When I went to the 
Sahara in the west of Algeria to videotape, 
I had never touched video in my life, and 
never studied film. My first contact with 
decks and cameras was in the refugee 
camps of the Polisario. The machines 
— the usual Vi " black-and-white — came 
from people in Paris, to whom I had quite 
simply said, "You must trust me to do this 
work. It's important to go there." 

The main purpose of these videotapes 
was as a means of communication between 
camps which are far-flung and have little 
contact with one another. I arrived with a 
little monitor, plugged it into the motor of 
a truck and showed people what I was tap- 
ing. There is no TV there whatsoever; most 
of the people had never even seen a photo- 
graph before. So it was extraordinary, it 
was like an explosion when they saw 
themselves for the first time. They had 
simultaneously a reaction of fear of this 
new magic and a feeling of discovery, of 
being validated through this representa- 
tion of themselves in action. 

Of course, I had arrived from the ex- 
terior, from a totally different milieu, but I 
was very respectful of their traditions and 
carefully followed their wishes. I worked 
wearing a veil from head to foot 
— something which is far from easy, con- 
sidering the length and width of a veil. I 
often caught my toe in it, at which point 
either the veil would fall off or I would 
drop the camera. What should be the 
priority when you trip on your veil? 
Should you grab it so you don't show your 
hair, or protect the equipment? As a result 
of these little practical dilemmas, there 
were certainly times when I shocked some 
of the older people, and I sometimes per- 
formed colossal gymnastic feats. Finally, 
the problem was solved by knotting the 
veil so it wouldn't float around and get in 
my way. And I walked in tiny mincing 
steps, like a Japanese woman. But I made 
do, since this was a necessary burden. 
Otherwise I would have been too foreign 
to fit in. 

KA THLEEN HULSER: What did you 
focus on when you were taping at the Tin- 
douf refugee camp? 

DO: Naturally the women's situation 
loomed prominently, because the bulk of 
the residents were women. It was they who 



organized life in the camps, since the nor- 
mal social structures had been completely 
ruined. The Saharawi women are very 
dynamic, determined and courageous. 
You would be amazed at the initiatives 
they take; it really is a revolutionary 
transformation. In contemporary North 
African society this is happening general- 
ly: there is an evolution towards liberation 
which is expressed in terms of practical in- 
itiatives. And I think the women of the 
Saharawi are examples of this evolu- 
tion — a truly astonishing advance in a 
short period of time. 

KH: What is the situation for women in 
Arab filmmaking — particularly in Algeria, 
since it's a socialist country? 

DO: We are coming out of darkness, we 
are really coming from the night. The 
night was so dark that when you come out 
the sunlight is too strong; you withdraw 
and blink. That is our situation. Algeria is 
a country which has implemented, in a 
politically mature manner, the maximum 
number of steps for the promotion of 
women — the largest number of govern- 
ment posts for women and so on. But 
there's such inertia, the traditional men- 
tality is so strong. After having played a 
big part during the Revolution, women 
were asked to return home — a step back- 
wards. Now women are starting to move 
again, to take positions and demand 
change. There are a few women, for exam- 
ple, who work in cinema and television. 
But there are no women TV reporters; just 
women in lower positions. We call them 
"trunk women" because you only see 
them sitting at the desk. But then, this is 
not that much different from the women's 
media position in France. 

KH: As a filmmaker and a feminist, is 
there anything in particular you would like 
to say to an American audience? 

DO: Yes. It's time to forge an alliance 
based on mutual respect: time for Western 
women to stop giving us lessons; time for 
curiosity, so we come to know each other: 
First World, Third World. We don't have 
the same strategies; that's not possible. 
But it's time for openness, so Western 
women don't reject what they don't know 
on the pretext of "radicalness." Speaking 
of alliances, do you think Children of the 
Polisario would be accepted by the Ameri- 
can public? 

KH: Yes. The innocence of the children's 
point of view would make it accessible to a 
wider public than the usual "political" 
film. 

DO: I don't want to speak to those who 
already believe, and I'm against demago- 
gic terminology. I always think it pointless 
to battle for your life, if your battle has no 
life. Words, images must have a 
life. 



THE INDEPENDENT 



Third World 
Cinema Conference 



Ambitious NY gathering brings together 

international group to discuss politics, aesthetics, funding, 

distribution, mutual cooperation & much, much more. 



The Third World Cinema Conference, held 
in New York City from April 27 to May 1 , was 
an ambitious affair in its range of participants 
and scope of topics. Organized in part by the 
Hunter College Department of Communica- 
tions and Third World Newsreel, it addressed 
the history, production, distribution, exhibi- 
tion, politics and aesthetics of the film in- 
dustries serving the vast majority of the 
world's population. Among the participants 
were filmmakers, teachers, students, political 
scientists, critics, curators, exhibitors and ad- 
ministrators from Asia, Africa, Latin 
America, the Middle East and Third World 
communities in the United States. 

The conference's salient problem was that 
it never successfully grappled with what exact- 
ly a Third World cinema is, given the vast 
range of ideologies, levels of development, 
populations, political structures and histories 
in these nations. How does one compare Cu- 
ba's socialist, documentary-oriented film in- 
dustry with Hong Kong's, which is unsub- 
sidized, rabidly commercial and heavily 
oriented towards sex-and-violence films? Or 
India (population 651 million), which in 1979 
produced 714 features, with Vietnam (pop. 52 
million), which in the same year year produc- 
ed 15? In practice, these divergent situations 
meant that panelists sometimes addressed 
questions from such radically different 
perspectives that little interaction was possi- 
ble. The aesthetics panel, for instance, includ- 
ed Fernando Solanas, an Argentinian film- 
maker (now in exile) whose portrait of urban 
guerrillas in Hour of the Furnaces is revered 
throughout Latin America as a prime example 
of "militant cinema," and Filipino filmmaker 
Kidlat Tahimik {Perfumed Nightmare), who 
described his aesthetic as "cosmic." 

Several questions vital to both white and 
Third World filmmakers were nonetheless 
raised, chiefly the aesthetics of Third World 
films, the relationship between Third World 
filmmakers and their audiences, and the 
responsibility, or function, of a Third World 
cinema. 

"Not all films made by colored people are 
[part of] Third World cinema," said Haile 
Gerima, an Ethiopian filmmaker now living 
in Washington, DC. Yet many of the panel 
participants stressed what they saw as the 
necessity of breaking the Western (mainly 
Hollywood) influence on film aesthetics as 
JULY/AUGUST* 1983 



SUSAN LINFIELD 

an important aspect of developing an 
autonomous political consciousness among 
Third World audiences. A chief exponent of 
this view was, in fact, Gerima, who is best 
known for his films Harvest: 3000 Years, 
Bush Mama and Ashes and Embers. "The 
very denouncing of those [Western] images is 
a step towards developing a Third World 



ing this further, Algerian filmmaker Djamila 
Olivesi [see facing page] spoke of the "aes- 
thetics of urgency" developed by the 
Saharawi people in their war against (US- 
armed) Morocco. Olivesi said that the 
Saharawi developed a need to create a history 
composed of words and images to comple- 
ment "the history they were already writing 



"The number 1 perpetrators 
of Western civilization at 
this point are Third World 
people themselves. Most 
people would rather see 
Star Wars than their grand- 
mother's image." 




cinema," Gerima said. "I'm very happy 
whenever an American audience calls me 
'primitive': they're confronted with a new 
culture. White people don't usually appear in 
my films; with the little amount of money I 
have, it's my grandmother who occupies the 
screen." He cautioned that, in terms of con- 
sumption of Western-produced culture, "the 
number- 1 perpetrators of Western civilization 
at this point are Third World people them- 
selves. Most people would rather see Star 
Wars than their grandmother's image." 

AESTHETICS OF URGENCY 

Other filmmakers supported a critique of 
Western depictions as an important step in 
Third World struggles. Lourdes Portillo, a 
Chicana filmmaker, spoke of the necessity of 
"rejecting anything that has colonized us." 
Diego de la Texera (El Salvador: The People 
Will Win), a Puerto Rican who makes his 
films outside the US, said that no people can 
win an anti-imperialist struggle without a 
knowledge of their own history, and that the 
uncovering of this history must be a Third 
World filmmaker's priority. "All our heroes, 
and our history of struggle, are buried down 
within a lot of white trash," he said. Extend- 



with Kalishnikovs [Soviet-manufactured 
rifles — Ed.]." 

However, the contradictions that can ac- 
company uncritical concentration on one's 
native culture — which may be based partially 
on feudal, patriarchal and/or racist values 
and traditions — were not explored. It should 
also be noted that those countries which are 
often regarded by other Third World nations 
as among the most staunchly anti-imperialist 
are not necessarily averse to incorporating 
Hollywood techniques or to showing 
Hollywood films. For instance, The God- 
father was a big hit in Cuba. And anyone who 
has seen a number of recent Cuban documen- 
taries knows that, although filmmakers there 
have developed a distinctive "Cuban style," 
they don't hesitate to use what are often 
regarded as "Hollywood effects," such as 
lushly romantic music and quick intercutting. 

A major point of concern for many at the 
conference was the relationship between film- 
makers and their audiences. Some producers 
lamented what they saw as a large gap be- 
tween themselves and their people. Mrinal 
Sen (The Case Is Closed) described the 
"crisis" of Indian cinema: Although India 
has a large indigenous film industry, serious 
films depicting social reality are unpopular, 

21 







CORI & ORIENT announces the completion of 
A 6-hour action adventure mini-series set in England and the African Coast in the late 18th century. 



Jaclo ^owc 



wtu 



starring 



Monte 
Markham 



Terence 
Cooper 



Matthias 
Habich 



Patrick 
Bach 



A GEORGE & ASSOCIATES (New Zealand) and TV 60 (Germany) CO-PRODUCTION 

of a Leon Garfield novel. 

Contact: Dee Hopkins or Marie Hoy at (213) 557-0173 

CORI & ORIENT, INC. — international co-production funding and distribution 



THE INDEPENDENT 



and "80% of the productions are in- 
disputably bad." Heiny Srour (The Hour of 
Liberation), a Lebanese filmmaker now living 
in France, spok